Books

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Michael Jackson May Be Writing His Memoirs

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Michael Jackson has “put out feelers” (ew) to see just how much money he could get for his memoirs. Answer? A whole f*cking lot. “Despite all that’s known about Michael, he still is one of our more intriguing celebrities,” said an industry insider. “If he’s truly candid and reveals some good secrets, his memoirs could easily be a huge best seller.”

While there’s no doubt Michael could use the money, one doesn’t have to be a sheik to know that Jackson doesn’t always see things through. Publishing companies are doing bad enough—they don’t need Jacko saying he thought that seven figure advance was a “gift.” Says that expert, “he’s going to have to provide a fairly explicit outline of his memoirs before a major publisher is going to shell out a significant advance.” Accent on the word explicit.

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Michael Crichton, Blockbuster Author, Dies At 66

Michael Crichton, author of such massively successful books as Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain, has died of cancer at the age of 66. His family, who had kept his condition private, said the death was “unexpected.” From their statement:

While the world knew him as a great story teller that challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us — and entertained us all while doing so — his wife Sherri, daughter Taylor, family and friends knew Michael Crichton as a devoted husband, loving father and generous friend who inspired each of us to strive to see the wonders of our world through new eyesHe did this with a wry sense of humor that those who were privileged to know him personally will never forget.

Along with his literary success (over 150 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide), Crichton was the creator and executive producer of NBC’s long-running ER. He also directed several successful films, including the sci-fi classic Westworld (a remake is planned for next year). Over a dozen of his novels have been adapted into movies, including Congo, Rising Sun and Disclosure.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Denis Leary On Autism Controversy: ‘Read The Book!’

Looks like Denis Leary isn’t sure autism protesters would help him sell books after all. Despite previously welcoming controversy over Autism Shamautism, his “favorite chapter” of his upcoming book, Why We Suck, Leary now complains that people are misreading his stance. Here’s what Page Six quoted from the book yesterday:

There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can’t compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don’t give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you – yer kid is NOT autistic. He’s just stupid. Or lazy. Or both.

According to a statement from Leary, those who would criticize the chapter “clearly have not read it.” Well, yes, David. It doesn’t come out until November 14. But there’s more.

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Denis Leary: “Yer Kid is NOT Autistic. He’s Just Stupid!”

Denis Leary likes his causes. He founded the Leary’s Firefighters Foundation almost a decade ago, donating large amounts of money and equipment to firefighters both before and after such tragic events as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Now he has a new one: telling parents of children with autism that their kids are actually just stupid and lazy.

In his new book, Why We Suck, Leary’s self-professed “favorite chapter” is titled Autism Shamautism. An excerpt:

There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can’t compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don’t give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you – yer kid is NOT autistic. He’s just stupid. Or lazy. Or both.

Unsurprisingly, the Autism Society of America isn’t amused, claiming his stance “reflects the same misconceptions of autism being caused by bad or unemotional parenting that were held over 50 years ago.” You have to wonder how Leary, the star and producer of Rescue Me, would react if someone called the huge boom in post-traumatic stress disorder cases “a way for shrinks to make more money.”

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Mario Lopez Wants To Show Kids His Mud Taco

Life & Style magazine claims that Mario Lopez is writing a children’s book, Mud Taco, that will be published by Penguin in 2009. The book is inspired by how Mario and his sister Marissa (who is co-writing the book) would entertain themselves by making tacos out of mud, as they didn’t have enough money for regular toys.

For fun, he and Marissa would make tacos out of mud in the backyard, substituting worms for cheese, grass for lettuce and mud for meat. Everyone but Mario would dare Marissa to eat one, but she’d refuse. Now they’re writing a book about it to teach to be strong and creative.

While it would seem ironic that a child would be too poor for toys but rich enough to be buying books by Mario Lopez named Mud Taco, Scandalist hopes the book is successful enough to inspire a whole series of DIY how-to’s for kids. Once Mario’s taught the children of America they can play with mud, he can move on to tree branch swords, cardboard box race car, cardboad box spaceships, cardboard box rollercoasters and poopy paint.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Brokeback Mountain Writer: “Stop Sending Me Slash Fic!”

It’s hard to imagine what kind of idiot would send a writer pornographic rewrites of their most successful work, but Anne Proulx, the woman behind the original short story of Brokeback Mountain, says it’s a “constant source of irritation.”

There are countless people out there who think the story is open range to explore their fantasies and to correct what they see as an unbearably disappointing story. They constantly send ghastly manuscripts and pornish rewrites of the story to me, expecting me to reply with praise and applause for ‘fixing’ the story. They certainly don’t get the message that if you can’t fix it, you’ve got to stand it.

While its tempting to blame the internet for peoplewho think their slash fiction is worth the attention of the original writer, you have to wonder if the urge to edit literary classics is really a modern invention. Maybe Charles Dickens was mailed hand-written descriptions of Fagin rogering Oliver Twist, and Arthur Miller was more than once invited to read Dick Of A Salesman. Either way, people need to keep this shit to themselves—or throw it on a slash forum. If Proulx reads Brokeback Mountin’ on Wranglers, it’s her own fault for looking.

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David Foster Wallace Commits Suicide

American literature lost one of its most influential and funniest stars Friday when David Foster Wallace committed suicide by hanging himself at his California home. Known for dark irony, postmodern narrative styles, and a love of footnotes (his 1,079-page 1996 masterpiece “Infinite Jest” has more than 100 pages of them.), the prodigious writer of both fiction and nonfiction touched on just about every facet of American pop culture — not to mention politics (he traveled on John McCain‘s Straight Talk Express in 2000), drug addiction, sports, depression, advertising, and the absurdities of being on a luxury cruise ship. Wallace, who taught creative writing at Pomona College, was 46. His ideas, wit and insight will be missed by legions rabid fans.

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Mariah Carey Steamed Over Ex’s Tell-All

Damon “Damizza” Young, who produced several tracks for Mariah Carey between 1999-2005, says he’s releasing a book about their “intense four-year personal relationship,” which he claims she “worked diligently to disguise from the world’s press.” He sounds pretty ungrateful after all the work she gave him (his biggest single with her, “Crybaby,” barely made the Top 30), but if he had front row seats during the nuttiest period of her career (remember the Cribs episode?), this could make for an exciting read.

But wait! Carey’s lawyers have already sent Damizza a reminder that he once signed a confidentiality agreement with Mimi. On one side—the gawking, snoopy snide—we hope he can get around this obstacle. But on the other, we’d hate to see his solo career get a boost. Check out his atrocious “Damizza” song, featuring Mariah, after the jump.

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Tori Spelling Is #1 On The NYT Best-Sellers List

After 14 weeks and 19 printings, Tori Spelling‘s memoir, sTORI Telling, will hit the #1 spot on the New York Times best-sellers list this week. Spelling is already planning a sequel, Mommywood, which will focus on her experiences as a mother. Sounds like 90210‘s loss was the literary world’s gain! After Mommywood, maybe she can write a 850-page novel about a blind Vietnam vet searching for the truth about his father’s death in rural New England. Or maybe she can go back to making crappy TV movies. [E!]

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Madonna’s Bro: Demi Moore Squirt Breast Milk On My Friends

Madonna‘s bro Christopher Ciccone is trying to make a buck off his sister and her famous friends with his tell-all book. In an interview with Out magazine, Ciccone talks about his estranged relationship with Madge and all the juicy details that didn’t make the cut. He wanted to add a disgusting story about Demi Moore (pictured above in Striptease) squirting her breast milk, but his lawyers panicked. This didn’t stop him from spilling it to the mag:

“Yeah — and she’s [Demi] dancing up on me and humping me from behind. The one part that’s not in the book is that she was lactating at the time and she was squirting breast milk at my lesbian friends. My friend Michelle called me the next morning and asked me, how do I get breast milk out of my black dress and I said How the f*ck would I know Call Demi. It was hysterical. There are no pictures of it but it actually happened. The lawyers didn’t think it was wise for me to print that — so there’s your juicy tidbit.”

We’re sure Demi’s daughters would rather go deaf than hear that story, but the book will be a best seller with tasty (sorry) gossip like this. [Photo: Getty Images]