The ProsenPeople

The Question

Friday, October 15, 2010 | Permalink

In his last posts, Gregory Levey wrote about late-night Middle East radio commentary and amazon recommendations with his book. He is the author of the recently published How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment and he has been blogging for the JBC/MJL author blogging series.

In the various radio, print, and TV appearances I’ve been doing to promote my new book, I often get the same question: Did you end up making peace in the Middle East?

My book is called How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less: Without Leaving Your Apartment, so this is a natural enough question, but I still find it a bit forward. After all, why would I give away the ending to my book?

If people want to know whether or not I actually made peace in the Middle East from the comfort of my apartment, they are simply going to have to read the book all the way to the end to find out.

And if you think that I’m going to give away the ending in this blog post, then you are sorely mistaken. I can tell you that in my attempt to make Middle East peace, I spoke to people from all over the political spectrum, from friends of Prime Minister Netanyahu to a former advisor to Yasser Arafat. I spoke to spies, lobbyists, politicians, and thousands of Jewish grandmothers. I also did combat training with a rightwing Jewish paramilitary group, investigated a supposed “online suicide bombing,” went under cover as an Evangelical Christian, and ended up at a real-life castle owned by a cape-wearing billionaire who thinks he is a superhero called “Peaceman.” I can tell you all that, but I can’t tell you if I ended up making peace in the Middle East.

It’s called “suspense,” people.

Gregory Levey’s second book, How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment, has just been released.

Baxter and Me

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | Permalink

In his last post, Gregory Levey wrote about late-night Middle East radio commentary. He is the author of the recently published How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment and he has been blogging for the JBC/MJL Visiting Scribe.

For some reason I don’t really understand, if you go to the Amazon.com page for the book I’ve just published, How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment, Amazon often makes a strange recommendation. If you are interested in my book, Amazon believes, you might also be interested in a children’s book called Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher.

Now, I’ve never read Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher, which is written by Laurel Snyder. I guess it could theoretically be related to my own book, which is about my attempt to make Middle East peace from the comfort of my own apartment, mostly so that I wouldn’t have to hear about the fatiguing Arab-Israeli conflict anymore – but, judging by its title, it doesn’t sound likely.

In any case, I am honored to be in the company of Baxter and his strange, masochistic wish. Even so, it makes me wonder what rationale Amazon has for connecting these two books. Do a lot of people buy both of them? Do we have a similar demographic of readers? Or is there something fundamentally similar about Baxter’s quest and my own?

Gregory Levey’s second book, How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment, has just been released.

The Middle East in the Middle of the Night

Monday, October 11, 2010 | Permalink

Gregory Levey‘s newest book, How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment, is now available. He will be blogging all week for the JBC/MJL Author Blog.

It was just after four in the morning, and I was on the phone discussing the Middle East conflict with a man I assumed was a truck driver. I was more than a little groggy, and so I wasn’t totally following our conversation, even when I was the one talking.

Oh, and one more detail. There were thousands of people listening to us, because we were on the radio.

This happened just a few days ago, and I’m still not fully sure what I said, because I was half-asleep. I may have mentioned something about the threat of violence along the Israel-Korea border, or expressed anxiety about not having studied for the ninth grade math test I imagined I was about to take.

This is sometimes the reality of book promotion when you’re a no-name author aboard the sinking ship of publishing. You’ll do anything to sell a few more books, even if it means waking up in the middle of the night to talk about the Middle East, fielding calls from the type of people who not only listen to the radio at that awful hour, but also feel the need to phone in.

My new book is called How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment, so I guess I sort of brought this on myself. And who knows? Maybe that trucker who was driving down that lonesome highway with my inane banter his only company came up with a workable solution to the Middle East conflict.

I don’t know, because I was barely conscious. But if you were listening and
we made any progress, please fill me in.

Gregory Levey’s Facebook group has over 750,000 fans. His second book, How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment, has just been released.

How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

We just received the finished copy of Gregory Levey's How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less: Without Leaving Your Apartment…great cover! Stay tuned for a review in an upcoming issue of Jewish Book World, as well as his guest author posts in October for the JBC/MJL Author Blog series.