Rebecca Skloot, author of Amazon's Best Book of 2010.
Photo © Manda Townsend
Slate has published Mick Jagger's rambling reaction to Keith Richards's new memoir, Life. Jagger apparently accidentally sent the typewritten, stream-of-consciousness screed to journalist Bill Wyman instead of the Stones' bassist of the same name who oversees the band's archives. Is it a prank, a parody, or the legitimate scoop of the current blog cycle? Slate isn't saying. Whatever the case, it makes for entertaining reading, as Jagger writes: "It is said of me that I act above the rest of the band and prefer the company of society swells. Would you rather have had a conversation with Warren Beatty, Andy Warhol, and Ahmet Ertegun . . . or Keith, his drug mule Tony, and the other surly nonverbal members of his merry junkie entourage?"
Did Michiko Kakutani and Liz Phair recently watch the film Avatar together, or is it simply that great minds think alike? From the lede of Phair's upcoming New York Times Sunday Book Review of Richards's Life: "He's been a global avatar of wish fulfillment for over four decades." From Kakutani's lede in last week's Books of the Times review: "Keith Richards is not only the heart and soul of the world’s greatest rock ’n’ roll band, he’s also the very avatar of rebellion."
Edward Champion delivers a full account of the magazine Cooks Source's alleged penchant for plagiarism.
This weekend, art book aficionados from around the world will cram into the converted classrooms of MoMA's PS1 in Queens for the New York Art Book Fair. The exposition is free, which is handy, since you'll want to spend your discretionary cash on the beautiful artist's volumes (including zines!) on display. There are also book signings and a slate of intriguing events.
Amazon's Best Books of 2010 list is topped by Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Other notables in the top twenty: To the End of the Land by David Grossman, Just Kids by Patti Smith, and The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt—as well as Jonathan Franzen's Freedom, way down at number six.