Jon Stewart, Readers Advisor

Havana Nocturne climbed on to the Amazon Top Ten for several days last week (it’s now at #11) after having been on the NYT Extended Nonfiction list two weeks ago.

Sharp-eyed Raine Sedore at Timberland Regional Library explains the renewed interest; author T.J. English appeared on the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Wednesday (the segment appears 13:34 minutes into the show). Stewart began the interview by declaring, “I love this book” and said the real Cuba as portrayed in the book is more colorful than the Cuba in Godfather II. Stewart described the books appeal,

Here’s how you know this is a fascinating book; JFK being set up for a three-girl orgy by a mobster is a throw-away line…you could have an entire book about that night. And there’s a two-way mirror and the two mobsters are watching and later on, they think, “Hey, we should have filmed that.”

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is recognized by publishers as being effective at promoting books. Not only is it clear that Stewart has read the books he talks about, but In the brief time that he can give to an author (in this case, over seven minutes, which is actually an eternity in television time), he manages to convey his own enthusiasm. And, although it may sound silly but it is nearly as important, he shows the book’s cover and repeatedly mentions its title.

By contrast, have you noticed how different he is with actors? With all the kibitzing around, they hardly get a chance to mention their new movies.

Thanks for the tip, Raine.


Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost It to the Revolution

T. J. English

  • Hardcover: $27.95
  • Publisher: William Morrow (June 3, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061147710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061147715
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $37.95
  • Publisher: Tantor Media; Unabridged edition (July 28, 2008)
  • Reader: Mel Foster
  • ISBN-10: 1400107695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400107698

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