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Alan Arkin's funny book trailer

February 18, 2011 | 11:08 am

There are few book trailers that measure up to the trailers we see for films. But one way to try to assure a book trailer will be as good as one from Hollywood is to put a Hollywood star in it. Not so easy, maybe, unless the author himself happens to have won an Academy Award.

As has Alan Arkin. Arkin won the best supporting actor Oscar in 2007 for his role in "Little Miss Sunshine." And his performing career stretches way back -- not only was he an Oscar nominee in 1967 and '68, but in earlier years he was a songwriter and a founder of the comedy improv troupe Second City.

That's what "An Improvised Life," his new book, is about, he explains in the trailer above. The book is due on shelves March 1, and can be ordered online now.

-- Carolyn Kellogg