Would You Rather Read a Book By George, Laura or Sarah Palin?

All the politicians are writing books: After leaving D.C. GEORGE BUSH will watch the world undo his damage and he will write a book. But so, it seems, will LAURA. She is being highly secretive about her plans, but she’s meeting with publishing execs to discuss a seven-figure memoir. Will their stories match? Will they let each other read the drafts? Will Laura’s book inevitably outsell W’s? And even though she didn’t make it to the White House, SARAH PALIN is also eyeing a book deal. Maybe she’ll reveal details about her kids’ names. [Reuters]

And in the meantime Obama reads some poems: While GEORGE BUSH nominates cowboys for THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT OF THE ARTS, we’re giddy that BARACK OBAMA reads poetry. Or at least carries it around. He was spotted last week carrying a volume of Nobel winner DEREK WALCOTT’s collected works. Maybe he needed a break from reading comics. [UPI]


Deep Impac: The longlist for the IMPAC DUBLIN PRIZE — aka the most lucrative literary prize for any literature in English — has been announced. And a long list it is: 147 authors are vying for the 100,000 Euro prize, with top contenders including KHALID HOSSEINI, MICHAEL ONDAATJE, MICHAEL CHABON, JUNOT DIAZ and IAN MCEWAN. The winner will be announced in June, but for now if we read… a book a day, we can get through the list! [Guardian]

Le rocks the boat: NAM LE has won the 2008 DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE (a bi-yearly competition for young writers in fiction, poetry and drama) for his debut book THE BOAT. Deemed a “phenomenal literary talent,” the Vietnamese writer explores abstract issues like heritage, culture and history in this collection of short stories — all to the tune of prestige and a hefty check of $140,000. [ABC]

Rahimi wins French Booker: Afghan writer ATIQ RAHIMI has been named the winner of the PRIX GONCOURT, one of the most prestigious French literary awards. His novel, SYNGUE SABOUR (“Stone of Patience”) tells a story about the oppression found in Afghan life. He has also written EARTH AND ASHES, a post-9/11 novel set in Afghanistan that was made into a film. [NYT]