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Howard Dean's book club and more book news

June 4, 2009 |  8:34 am


Howard Dean has taken a new chairmanship -- of the Progressive Book Club. Modeled to be a counter to the longtime Conservative Book Club, the Progressive Book Club describes itself as "a 21st century platform that enables people who want to learn, connect, debate, support progressive causes and take action." All while reading books -- sounds tiring.

Michael Connelly recommends five favorite books at the Daily Beast, by Vicki Hendricks, Jesse Katz, George Pelecanos, Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Wambaugh. Connelly's new novel, "The Scarecrow," is his best work in 13 years, according to The Times' review.

A new roadie book includes what it says is a decades-old drunken confession of the murderer of Jimi Hendrix. Allegedly, Hendrix's manager was hoping to cash in an insurance policy and keep the rock star from leaving him. No matter how unlikely the claims are, it does make "Rock Roadie: Backstage and Confidential With Hendrix, Elvis, the Animals, Tina Turner, and an All-Star Cast" by James "Tappy" Wright a bit more interesting.

Marilynne Robinson has won the women's-only 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction for "Home." The book, which has garnered many accolades, also won the L.A. Times book prize for fiction in April, and Robinson appeared at the L.A. Times Festival of Books.

Director Danny Boyle -- whose film "Slumdog Millionaire" earned lots of awards -- has acquired the rights to Suketu Mehta's "Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found," a nonfiction book that was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Howard Dean with actor Kal Penn in August 2008. Credit: nmfbihop via Flickr.