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A crazy sexy book, a dead leftie and more book news

January 19, 2011 | 11:35 am

Crazysexydiet It's January, so dieting is on the minds of many. Even the L.A. Times' own Tony Pierce -- who I think was once the Foursquare mayor of a Panda Express -- is trying to diet. So maybe it's no surprise that Kris Carr's "Crazy Sexy Diet" leaped to the top of Amazon's bestseller list when it went on sale this week. It's still perching there at No. 1, serving up a vegetarian diet of raw foods and smoothies.

Carr is a cancer survivor, but not everyone is so lucky. Longtime leftie author and cultural critic John Ross has died of liver cancer in Mexico at age 72 (or maybe 73). Ross, a poet and leftist journalist, logged time in New York and San Francisco, but eventally settled in Mexico. His 2004 memoir, from Nation Books, was titled "Murdered by Capitalism: A Memoir of 150 Years on the American Left." He's remembered in the Village Voice.

The American Booksellers Assn.'s Winter Institute got started Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The event, which is billed as an opportunity for independent booksellers to "learn, network and just have fun," has sold out. Outsiders can get a peek inside, however, by following the chatter on Twitter with the hashtag #wi6.

Bring on your tablets! Interactive book company Vook has secured $5.25 million in financing, Galleycat reports.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

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