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Sarah Palin bio -- surprise bestseller?

August 29, 2008 | 10:39 am

Sarah Palin bookChances are Sarah Palin is having a pretty good day. Yesterday she was governor of Alaska; today she's John McCain's running mate.

Kaylene Johnson must be nearly as happy. She is the Alaskan author who penned "Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down." Will people wanting to know more about the Alaskan governor turn to this bio to tell them more?

At 159 pages, it's easy to tackle. According to one review, it's a straightforward accounting of Palin's history.

Author Kaylene Johnson has written two other books and many articles about Alaska. On her website, she writes about the process of putting together the book. She talked to Palin's childhood basketball coach, her aerobics instructor, her pastor, her siblings; she spoke with the governor twice. Johnson writes:

I had watched Palin’s rise to the state’s highest office with interest. Jaded as I was about politics in general, the notion that people could take government back into their own hands renewed my faith in the democratic process. It was an opportunity to learn and write about a fascinating woman who made Alaskan history by being the first woman and the youngest governor ever elected.

The only review on Amazon says that "Sarah" is "almost breathlessly optimistic" and wishes it weren't so "lightweight." The book started the day with an Amazon sales rank of about 300,000. As of 11am Pacific, it had risen all the way to 2,294 -- leaping over more than 290,000 other books. How far will it rise? 

-- Carolyn Kellogg

UPDATE: And by noon it was at #775. Epicenter, the book's publisher, is figuring out how to fill the new demand -- Barnes & Noble alone wants 15,000 copies.

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