The Avid Reader October 2009


The Lizard Cage

Books in Review: Annualism & more

Salem's Lot

Holy Grail for King Collectors

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Most expensive sales in September

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The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs What would you do for a whole year, in the name of science, journalism, experimentation, or even publishing? Could you go without speaking? Adopt and be faithful to a lifestyle entirely different from your own?

A year is a long time, but there have been a surprising number of people willing to undertake the task. One couple vowed to have sex every night for a year - without fail, without excuses. An author and her family committed to eating only food grown in their local community.

The phenomenon is annualism, and at least one author seems to relish it as a challenge to try bigger and better experiments. His name is A.J. Jacobs, and his most recent book, The Guinea Pig Diaries, details his fascination with going to extraordinary lengths to explore a new activity (never lying, pretending to be a pretty woman, impersonating a movie star etc) and the patience his family is forced to adopt.

In this issue of the Avid Reader, we talk to A.J. Jacobs, and look at 25 books in which people have lived life as an experiment - some drastic, some funny - in the name of science, and lived to write about it.

Learn about annualism
The Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly Featured Staff Review

The Lizard Cage
by Karen Connelly

Five Stars Reviewed by Cathy

The story centers around the daily life of a popular musician named Teza; a political prisoner in a Burmese solitary confinement cell. The setting is the late 1980's, when millions of people... Read the whole review

See more staff reviews
Enjoy the leather and luxury of Easton Press books Learn More


R.J. Ellory Interview

R.J. Ellory is a Birmingham, UK author with seven published thrillers under his belt. The prolific author shares his stories with us. But beware, he has a dark past - he revealed to us that he once did prison time for stealing and eating a chicken from a monastery.

Read the Interview

National Book Awards Cream of the Crop

The National Book Award is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a campaign to select the best book from its long list of fiction winners. The quest has now reached the shortlist stage after 140 writers selected six books that "represent the best of the National Book Awards for Fiction."

See the Shortlist

Holy Grail for Stephen King Collectors

It's the ultimate prize for any Stephen King buff - a true first edition of Salem's Lot, from 1975, with the original dust jacket, of which only four were printed before the presses screeched to a stop for a last minute price change. Sound up your alley? Only $90,000 and it can be yours.

Collectible Stephen King
Signed Bestsellers in September
  1. The Children's Book
    A.S. Byatt
  2. Homer and Langley: A Novel
    E.L. Doctorow
  3. South of Broad
    Pat Conroy
  4. The Golden City
    John Twelve Hawks
  5. Wolf Hall
    Hilary Mantel
See The Whole List on the Homepage

Most Expensive Books Sold in September
  1. The Dark Tower Series
    Stephen King - $14,000
  2. Various first editions & letters
    R.K. Narayan & Mulk Raj Anand - $7,764
  3. Fourteen Thomas Pynchon first editions
    - $6,269
  4. The Tales of Beedle the Bard
    J.K. Rowling - $6,000
  5. Les Fleurs Du Mal
    Charles Baudelaire - $5885
See the Whole List
"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." - JORGE LUIS BORGES
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