The good folk at Simon & Schuster (hiya Caroline!) have just sent me a review copy of Nicholson Baker's Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II; The End of Civilization. This, of course, is the normal run of things: publishers send books, I review them. But I'm ever so excited because I like Baker a lot ... and this particular book is signed. To me!
The dedication reads "To Mark -- Nicholson Baker" which, I grant you, isn't that exciting nor as personal as you might wish for (Nicholson, dude, where's my "love"? "Lots of love" would have been nice, you know. Was that too much to ask? Really?) But it's something. And it's a nice way to start May Day.
The book itself is quite controversial, see recent post at e.g. LewRockwell.com -- which styles itself "anti-state, anti-war, pro-market" (well, they got the first two right!) -- or see the five-part roundtable discussion at Filthy Habits or read the slamming Adam Kirsch gave it in The New York Sun (thanks Steve) back in early March. If I get a chance, Mr Baker's anti-war screed will be read this weekend.