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October 11, 2008

The Presidential Book of Lists
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 11:16 AM * 17 comments

At Albacon today I met my friend Ian Randal Strock. Ian is as pleased as only an author with his Very First Book (The Presidential Book of Lists: From Most to Least, Elected to Rejected, Worst to Cursed—Fascinating Facts About Our Chief Executives) can be. (Buy one; better still, buy a dozen! They make excellent gifts.)

The book is being released on October the 21st, which is a bizarre date, but rather better than the date that Villard originally wanted to release it: December of this year. “Arrrgh!” Ian said, or words to that effect. “Wouldn’t piggybacking on the ultra-million-dollar publicity campaigns of these guys called the ‘Republicans’ and ‘Democrats’ make sense?”

“Perhaps you have a point,” said the publicity guys, and moved up the release date.

The release party will be at Books of Wonder in NYC (18 West 18th Street) on October 28th, 6:00pm-7:30pm. I advised Ian that he should bring a lollipop tree and a booksigning-tablecloth (like all the pros) and that he should dress up like a president. George Washington would be appropriate.

So. Preorder now! Help Ian get a second printing! Help Ian get a second edition! Help Ian get The Presidential Book of Lists Volume II: Vice-presidents, First Ladies, and Presidential Appointees, into print!

If you’re a pundit, a political blogger, a social-studies teacher, or Sarah Palin, you need this book.

Comments on The Presidential Book of Lists:
#1 ::: Lin D ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 11:32 AM:

You have made my Christmas gift giving easier. I love giving unexpected but appropriate books rather than ones off a wish list.

#2 ::: edward oleander ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 12:44 PM:

What Lin said.

#3 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 09:19 PM:

speaking of Sarah Palin, have y'all seen this?

#4 ::: edward oleander ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2008, 09:54 AM:

#3 -- YOMANK!

#5 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2008, 01:08 PM:

Does anyone know how Amazon functions? Is this book likely to get across the pond to, or will Amazon think it's for home consumption only?

#6 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2008, 08:14 PM:

It looked interesting.

(It was nice meeting you at the con, BTW.)

#7 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2008, 08:36 PM:

John Stanning #5: You can order anything from any of the Amazons, and they will deliver anywhere. I order from fairly frequently and they have no problem delivering to me in the United States.

#8 ::: Nick Brooke ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 07:10 AM:

Fragano Ledgister #7: and contrariwise (i.e. I order from fairly frequently, and they have no problem delivering to me in the United Kingdom).

#9 ::: Jan Vaněk jr. ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 07:34 AM:

Is that not a hyphen instead of a dash? I'm used to Amazon messing them up, but would not expect it copied at ML.

BTW, what are proper English rules for spacing dashes? And em-, or en-?

#10 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 09:16 AM:

Buck up, Mr Stanning! Both the USA and UK versions of Amazon have accepted and delivered my uɐǝpodıʇuɐ orders for objects of desire unavailable in this distant wide brown land. (Lordy, it's tempting to link my wish list to 'objects of desire'. Sigh. I will diminish, and stay here in the South, and remain myself.)

#11 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 02:58 PM:

Jan Vaněk #9 : as usual, the rules are flexible. The English mostly use en-dashes and space them. Americans often use em-dashes without spaces. Sometimes you see a double-hyphen -- from someone who's used to typewriters, I suppose, trying to simulate an em-dash.

#12 ::: Ian Randal Strock ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 03:04 PM:

Thanks for the great write-up, Jim.

I just want to emphasize that the book release party is open to everyone: we'll have food and beverage, so please join us.

Also, if you're really interested in the topic, I blog about it at

#13 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 03:04 PM:

Fragano, Nick, Mez - thanks. Yesterday the Book of Lists was on but not on, and I thought it might not make it over here. If I have to order from, it takes longer and costs more for shipping. But today it's arrived on so I can get it quicker and cheaper.

#14 ::: Ian Randal Strock ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 04:46 PM:

John, that's... surprising. Six sellers in the UK have the book (and one is offering it for less than 4 pounds)? The official on-sale date is a week from tomorrow, and I haven't seen a copy other than the one the editor handed me last week. Wow.

#15 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 05:57 PM:

Those interested in trivia might like to note that the book has had 122 hits and seven sales through the link above.

#16 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2008, 05:18 AM:

Actually, not every Amazon store will send everything anywhere. I tried to order a sonic screwdriver toy from when I ordered the first Murray Gold soundtrack album from them, and they wouldn't ship it to me. Presumably for some sort of legal reasons related to licensing. I succeeded in finding a North American importer that would send it to me. (Actually I wish I'd found them first, as they had the CD for less money than Amazon charged.)

#17 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 07:06 AM:

Well, my copy arrived this morning – a day in advance of official date! – not from Amazon but from The Book Depository which links to and from
I look forward to reading it!

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