The inside scoop on the book world

RECLUSE ON THE LOOSE You might think only a true J.D. Salinger obsessive would have the patience to lie in wait for a photo op of the notorious recluse, but shutterbug Paul Adao, who scored a considerable professional coup by capturing this new shot of the writer strolling with wife Colleen O’Neill in Cornish, N.H., says he isn’t even a fan. ”It’s really weird how [The Catcher in the Rye] is supposed to be a great book. I’m not saying that it’s not. I tried reading it…. I found it kind of boring.” Oh. So what kind of guerrilla tactics does it take to nab the elusive Mr. S.? ”I don’t tell how I get ’em—that’s how I get ’em!” says Adao. ”It’s like writers. How do some writers get a story and others don’t get stories? They all have their own techniques.” Indeed.

WEAVE HIM TO HEAVEN It’s not quite Into Thin Air. It’s the true-life tale of what happened to a lock of Beethoven’s hair when it was snatched from his corpse in 1827, until it sold at Sotheby’s in 1994. ”It mixes music, history, and science into this great adventure story starring Beethoven’s hair,” says Broadway Books vice president/editor in chief John Sterling, who acquired Beethoven’s Hair, to be written by Russell Martin, for a rumored mid-six figures. Forensic experts and scientists will be checking out the composer’s roots for the book, which Broadway plans to publish in the fall of 2000.