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Posts Tagged ‘A.J. Jacobs’

Six Word Festival Opens on Twitter

The inaugural Six Word Festival opened today on Twitter, and runs until September 26th.

For three days, a group of celebrities will post prompts on their Twitter feeds to elicit responses in the form of six-word tweets.

The participants include journalist A.J. Jacobs, chef Todd English, and the cast of Orange is the New Black.

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A.J. Jacob Writes Advice Column with 100,000 Facebook Friends

Drop Dead Healthy author A.J. Jacobs has added a new duty to his position as Esquire‘s editor-at-large: advice columnist.

Jacobs will solicit advice from his more than 100,000 Facebook friends for a new column called “My Huddled Masses.”

For the debut piece, Jacobs and his collaborators answered the following question: “How do you deal with perpetually late people who say that’s just how they are?”

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AJ Jacobs, Charlaine Harris & Stephen Savage Get Booked

Here are some literary events to jump-start your week. To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.

Janie Hendrix, the sister of legendary rock star Jimi Hendrix, will appear at a signing event for the Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Lyric Book. See her on Tuesday, January 8th at Barnes & Noble Northwest starting at 7 p.m. (Las Vegas, NV)

Pen Parentis will host a night of readings, signings and wine. Join in on Tuesday, January 8th at the Andaz Wall Street starting at 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

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Gary Shteyngart Gets Book Blurb Documentary

Journalist Edward Champion has released “Shteyngart Blurbs,” a short documentary looking at the life and book blurbs of Gary Shteyngart (along with the history of blurbs).

We’ve embedded the complete film above, including cameos from some great writers, Jacob Silverman‘s cat and the Totally Hip Book reviewer. Check out The Collected Blurbs of Gary Shteyngart Tumblr to read some of his work.

Here’s more about the film: “Narrated by Jonathan Ames, this fifteen minute documentary investigates Gary Shteyngart’s prolific book blurbing, talking with the the many authors who have been blurbed by Gary, book critics, journalists, editors, book jacket designers, and even the man who created a Tumblr devoted to Shteyngart’s blurbs. Features Ron Charles, A.J. Jacobs, A.M. Homes, Molly Ringwald, Karen Russell, Dinaw Mengestu, and many more! (Music licensed through Friendly Music.)”

Four Promotions at Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster has made four promotions in its publicity department.

Julia Prosser has been named assistant director of publicity. Prosser has worked with many authors, including David McCullough, A.J. Jacobs and Nicholson Baker. Kelly Welsh will now serve as senior publicity manager. Welsh has lead PR campaigns for Jeffery Deaver, Cara Hoffman and Jeff Guinn.

Michelle Jasmine has been named publicist. Jasmine began as a marketing intern and has worked her way into the publicity department. Margaret Kingsbury has become an associate publicist. Kingsbury came from a previous position as a radio producer.

Go the F*** To Sleep: Bedtime Book for Parents

To cheer up exhausted parents with an over-energetic child or collicky baby, Akashic Books will publish Go the F*** To Sleep in October.

What do you think? Author A.J. Jacobs called it “the most honest children’s book ever written.” Adam Mansbach (The End of the Jews) wrote the book and Ricardo Cortes illustrated.

Here’s more from Amazon: “a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing off to dreamland. Honest, profane, and affectionate, Adam Mansbach’s verses and Ricardo Cortés’ illustrations perfectly capture the familiar—and unspoken—tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night, and open up a conversation about parenting in the process.” (Via Buzzfeed)

A.J. Jacobs Offers Healthy Living Advice

Stunt nonfiction writer A.J. Jacobs is working on a book tentatively titled The Healthiest Human Being in the World. In the video embedded above, he offered three pieces of healthy advice.

When CNN asked about his process, Jacobs replied: “I changed my diet and my exercise – that’s one of the shocking things is how much I have to do to be the healthiest person alive. I mean my day is packed because you got to do aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise, you got to meditate, you got to go out into nature, because nature is healthier, you got to pet a dog because there are studies that show that helps lower your blood pressure, it’s just never ending.”

Back in December, Jacobs started a new Twitter account specifically for this health project. He explained that its purpose is to “confess my health lapses and you can heckle me. Got to get some accountability.”

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Resolutions from Around the Literary World

Today we have a new set of 2011 literary resolutions from writers. Share your resolutions in the comments section or on Twitter.

Stunt nonfiction writer A.J. Jacobs: “My literary new year’s resolution is to read some a novel or two this year. I’ve spent the last few months reading health and medical books for my new project, and I think reading something fictional sounds a strange and exciting prospect.”

Mr. Peanut author Adam Ross: “I had a busy 2010, true, but I only read 16 books. I’m betting, though, that if I’d visited Facebook only once a day (I’m a confessed Scrabble addict), as well as Twitter, nytimes.com, cnn.com, and espn.com, I’d have doubled that figure. We live in an acutely distracted age that constantly pummels our best sense of reality (I won’t even get started here on my BlackBerry). So in 2011, I’m going to budget my computer time more rigorously. There’s too much to read before I die.”

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Authors Win Literary Triva Showdown

slice_title.gifFive authors beat out five agents and five editors at a literary trivia contest this week at a Slice Magazine fundraiser.

GalleyCat missed the event, but the New Yorker‘s Book Bench reported on the “rowdy audience” at Dixon Place in Manhattan. The winning team of authors included Jonathan Lethem (“Motherless Brooklyn”), Chip Kidd (“The Cheese Monkeys”), A.J. Jacobs (“The Year of Living Biblically”), Darin Strauss (“Chang and Eng”), Susan Jane Gilman (“Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress”).

Here’s an excerpt from the Talk of the Town-ish piece: “Unfortunately, none of the competitors knew which phobia Ray Bradbury, Muhammad Ali, Aretha Franklin, and Bob Newhart shared. (Answer: Aerophobia, a fear of flying). The agents, who the woman next to me remarked ‘looked awfully young,’ killed on the ‘Harry Potter’ questions.”

What Would Your Friends Do to Promote Your Book?

It’s not too surprising that Brad Meltzer was able to rope Joss Whedon, Damon Lindelof, and Brian K. Vaughn into appearing in the “book trailer” for his new novel, The Book of Lies, raising unsettling questions about Cain and Abel and the shooting death of the father of Superman’s co-creator. (Yeah, I know; it makes a little more sense when you watch the film.) After all, Meltzer knows all those guys through the comic book world—I’m pretty sure I’ve even seen him doing panel discussions with some of them.

But Christopher Hitchens? A.J. Jacobs?

It turns out that Meltzer and Hitchens are both represented by Kneerim & Williams. And Jacobs? I couldn’t piece together the connection through Google, so I shot Jacobs an email and asked him. He called back and said they’ve known each other for years—introduced early in their respective careers by their then-mutual editor, Rob Weisbach. After I confessed that the trailer had compelled me to pull my galley of The Book of Lies from a stack of other BookExpo giveaways, Jacobs confessed that he doesn’t usually read thrillers, but he started this one to “get a taste” before shooting his scenes… “and I’ll admit it: He got me hooked!”

(Update: Meltzer discusses the trailer’s conception with Entertainment Weekly‘s Ken Tucker: “I had seen so many book trailers which were exactly like every other book commercial you see: scary-voice-guy tells you what it says on the back of the book jacket.” Man, I wish. A lot of times, you don’t even get scary-voice guy, just a bunch of title cards…)