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The Early Word: New Books for the Week of September 9, 2007

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I don’t know if this week’s list of new releases counts as a smattering, slim pickin’s, a little bit country a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, or not worth writing home about. Or perhaps just not worth writing at all.

That’s not to say, however, that the book not worth writing is not worth buying…

Certainly that might be the case over the hot-potato announcement last year of the publication — by a clueless and cavalier HarperCollins, who quickly rescinded its plans by popular reprimand — of the re-titled If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer. The idea was for O.J. Simpson to hypothetically relate how he “would have” murdered ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994. You know, just speculating – because after all, Simpson was found not guilty of criminal charges (he took a financial hit in a civil case), so he has time to think about these things as he carries on his in endeavor to look for the real killers on America’s golf courses. And try to make a tidy profit with a book that might be tell-all or con-all, fiction or fact.

The Goldman family sees I Did It as rooted in reality, viewing it as Simpson’s confession, a belief upheld by a Florida bankruptcy court, who awarded the work’s rights to the family in August 2007 to partially satisfy the unpaid civil judgment, which has risen to over $38 million with interest. With up to 14,000 words of key additional commentary added to the original manuscript approved by O.J. Simpson, it is the Goldman’s desire that — in addition to a portion of the proceeds being donated to the Ron Goldman Foundation for Justice — the public will read I Did It and learn the truth.

FICTION:

Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon by Garrison Keillor

You've Been Warned by James Patterson, Howard Roughan

NONFICTION:

Hold Everything Dear: Dispatches on Survival and Resistance by John Berger

Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches by John W. Dean

If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer Arranged by the Goldman Family

Power to the People Signed Edition by Laura Ingraham

The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature by Steven Pinker

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About Gordon Hauptfleisch