Sunday's L.A. Times Book Review rolled out its dignified selection of the "best books of 2004," a fiction list of two dozen works including the latest by Philip Roth, E.L. Doctorow and locals Walter Mosley, Denise Hamilton and David Freeman; and 27 non-fiction books by Bob Woodward, Kevin Starr and Angelenos-in-spirit D.J. Waldie, Norman M. Klein and Eric Lax, among others. An accompanying story recommended a number of gift books on politics, all very serious. Might the reading public agree? Ahhh, not so much, as Jon Stewart would say. Publishers Weekly, the trade journal for the book biz, today proclaimed Stewart's mockery of serious politics, America (the Book), a Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, the 2004 Book of the Year: "Beneath the eye-catching and at times goofy graphics, the dirty jokes and the playful ingenuousness shines a serious critique of the two-party system, the corporations that finance it and the 'spineless cowards in the press' who 'aggressively print allegation and rumor independent of accuracy or fairness.'''
Oh by the way—it also happens to be #1 this week on both the L.A. Times and New York Times hardcover bestseller lists. At 11 o'clock tonight, Stewart's book, written with Comedy Central's Ben Karlin and David Javerbaum, also was the #1 seller on Amazon.com.