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Book News: 'Socks, I've Worn A Few?' Flea Is Writing A Memoir

Flea, bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, during the group's performance at this year's Super Bowl. He's going to write a memoir.
Rob Carr
Getty Images
Flea, bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, during the group's performance at this year's Super Bowl. He's going to write a memoir.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Flea, the perpetually shirtless bass player for the Red Hot Chili Peppers who is also known for how and where he has sometimes worn a sock, has a book deal, according to a press release from Grand Central Publishing. The memoir will span his childhood to "the tumultuous creative journey of the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers." In the release, Flea, whose real name is Michael Balzary, says he considers books "sacred," and wants to "honor the form that has played such a huge part in shaping who I am." The memoir doesn't have a title or publication date yet. Let's hope the 51-year-old also writes about his film career, which includes the role of "Nihilist #2" in The Big Lebowski.

Former President Jimmy Carter signed 1,600 books in a little more than two hours last weekend, The Oregonian reports. The 89-year-old Carter was at Powell's in Portland to autograph copies of his new book A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.

  • U.S. e-book sales increased by 3.8 percent in 2013, from $1.25 billion in 2012 to $1.3 billion, the Association of American Publishers said in a new report. That's a modest increase after the explosive growth of e-books over the last few years. Overall, book sales increased 1% in 2013.
  • Leslie Jamison, author of the marvelous Empathy Exams, writes about the personal essay form for Publisher's Weekly: "I'm interested in essays that follow the infinitude of a private life toward the infinitude of public experience. I'm wary of seeking this resonance by extracting some easy moral from the grit and complication of personal particularity: love hurts, time heals, always look on the bright side. Instead, I'm drawn to essays that allow the messy threads of grief or incomprehension to remain ragged, to direct our gazes outward."
  • In the new issue of the Paris Review, Thomas Pynchon is asked whether he minds being called paranoid. He says, "Yes and no. Being called paranoid seems preferable to any number of things. Especially now, with the degrees of access, the ubiquity of cameras — it's a position that seems increasingly less, well, paranoid. The word that does bother me is recluse. I don't consider myself reclusive." Also from the new issue: Salman Rushdie has apparently mastered the subtle art of the selfie.
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    Annalisa Quinn is a contributing writer, reporter, and literary critic for NPR. She created NPR's Book News column and covers literature and culture for NPR.

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