The inside scoop on the book world

By EW Staff
Updated January 12, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

BUSH WHACKERS Whatever else he may do as President, George W. Bush is sparking a humor boom. On Jan. 19, the day before his inauguration, Fireside trade paperbacks will publish George W. Bushisms: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of Our 43rd President, edited by Jacob Weisberg, Slate’s chief political correspondent. The compilation will include about 100 of the President-elect’s non sequiturs and malaprops, among them his assertion that ”the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.” In February, Crown’s Three Rivers Press will bring out the ”definitive” scrapbook of George W. Bush: My First Presidentiary, by the website Modern Humorist, which will include scribblings of his designs for the ”awesome space fighters” he wants to show the Pentagon. Meanwhile, agent Frank Weimann is shopping The Bush to English Dictionary, by two Rosie O’Donnell Show writers, and agent Jane Dystel has sold W: The First 100 Days, a White House Journal to Andrews McMeel. ”We hope to restore honor and dignity to the world of publishicating,” says Crown editorial director Steve Ross.

GETTING A GOOD BUZZ Elizabeth Wurtzel, of Prozac Nation fame, has a new book, tentatively titled More, Now, Again, which will cover her addiction to Ritalin and cocaine and subsequent recovery. It may even discuss, as she writes in her proposal, working on Bitch at the Broadway digs of her then publisher Doubleday and getting high with some of the cleaning staff. ”We told her there wasn’t an empty office at Simon & Schuster,” says Marysue Rucci, the S&S senior editor who paid $250,000 for the book. She aims to publish next fall.

MONEY PIT? Despite the controversy swirling around Hillary Clinton’s $8 million book deal — derided as ethically questionable for a new senator and a money loser for its publisher — there’s no buyer’s remorse at Simon & Schuster. ”We wouldn’t be investing $8 million in a book if we even suspected it wouldn’t be profitable,” says S&S publisher David Rosenthal of the White House memoirs, due out in 2003.