By Campbell Geeslin
“Sadly overlooked is . . . the summer non-read,” wrote Jordan Ellenberg in The Wall Street Journal, “the book that you pick up, all full of ambition, at the beginning of June and put away, the bookmark now and forever halfway through chapter 1, on Labor Day. The classic of this genre is Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, widely called ‘the most unread book of all time.’”
Ellenberg, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and author of How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, provided his list of this summer’s candidates for most unread: Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty.
Of Capital, Ellenberg commented that at 700 pages it may replace Hawking’s Brief History as the most unread book of all time.
BIG ADVANCE: James Rollins’s 20 novels have 6.7 million copies in print. He’s just been paid $15 million to write four more. The New York Times describes his books as “mostly science-fiction action and adventure thrillers.” The new books will be a continuation of his best-selling “Sigma” series. His tenth in that series, The Sixth Extinction, will be out in next month.
Rollins is a veterinarian and he said, “I can still neuter a cat in under 30 seconds.” He volunteers his vet services near his home in Lake Tahoe, Calif.
He also continues to meet with a dozen writers every other week. He said that his success has not inhibited his fellow writers: “Every time I come in, they tear me apart.”