Does Real Housewife NeNe Leakes Deserve a Book Deal? And Other Lit-Related Questions

NeNe Leakes has a book deal, Kanye's a nonreading author, Oprah apologizes to James Frey and Halle joins the cast of "For Colored Girls."


Who Deserves a Book Deal?

NeNe Leakes, one of the real housewives of Atlanta recently sold a book called “Never Make the Same Mistake Twice: Straight Talk on Love and Life from a Real Housewife.” It’ll publish in July and will be written with Denene Millner, who coauthored Steve Harvey’s “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” I have many questions about this. First up: why a book? I’ve seen the show a total of two times and I know that Leakes is meant to bring the drama. I get it. But does that mean that she has “straight talk” fascinating enough to span an entire book? Then I started revisiting a question that I ask often: who really deserves a book deal? Overly dramatic reality stars? The real reality is that even if publishers are right that “celebrity” books help to bring in money so that they can publish, say gifted novelists, the truth is, when you have limited resources, some have to lose. The question that remains: who will those somebodies be?

Is Kanye For Real?

The internet has been buzzing with the news that Kanye West’s fifty-two page book, “Thank You and You’re Welcome,” which was first introduced in 2007, will hit stores in July. But what’s been more newsworthy or interesting or funny or absurd, depending on how you look at it, is his recent interview. In it, he proudly proclaims to be a non-reading author with bountiful pockets of wisdom that he calls Kanye-isms. He also says:

“Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed. I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book’s autograph.”

So self-absorbed? Ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black? More importantly, since when did books started giving autographs? But hey, if you’re bored at work, go ahead and read a few pages. Maybe you’ll be inspired…not to read?

Why Do Publishers Drop So Much Money on Certain Books?

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan recently sold his memoir. Apparently, the book will be a “personal biography of global statecraft.” Not sure what that means. But my real question deals with the advance, which was reported to be around $750,000. I understand that he’s Kofi Annan and that he just might sell enough copies to cover the hefty price tag, but in this economy, is this memoir worth such a big advance?

Should Oprah Have Apologized?