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John Grogan’s New Book Gets Release Date

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Oh, yes, but will it sell without a puppy on the cover?

Author of the bestselling Marley & Me John Grogan’s new memoir, THE LONGEST TRIP HOME, has been announced for publication on October 21 by William Morrow. “From his troublemaking childhood to his courtship of a fiery blond named Jenny, Grogan writes about how he came to terms with who he is and what he believes.” It’s called the “story of a son in the making, and of growing up in a loving, but comically old-school Catholic family.”

Grogan says in the announcement, “Even before Marley & Me was published, I knew this was the story I wanted to tell next. The Longest Trip Home is a story very close to my heart.”

How well will it sell? Who knows, but A Very Marley Christmas will be out on Sept. 30, in case you’re wondering if John Grogan will be able to eat this winter.

Apocalypse Now [The Doree Chronicles]

Owen Wilson To Play Ex-’Inky’ Writer (Not Stephen A.)

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Know what I said when I heard they were making a movie out of Marley & Me? “Hey, how about they get Rocky Dennis and whatshername in all that makeup from Monster to play the leads?” Bada-bing! Unfortunately, Rocky Dennis is dead so they decided to get Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston to play Mr. and Mrs. John Grogan instead.

David Frankel, who last directed “The Devil Wears Prada” for the studio, will helm; Scott Frank is working on the latest draft of the script. Plan is to begin production next year. Gil Netter and Karen Rosenfelt are producing.

According to IMDb, Frank wrote Little Man Tate and had a part in writing Minority Report and The Interpreter. The film’s going to commence shooting early next year, and will hopefully include the scene where John Grogan and his family go to Disney World while leaving their old dog in a kennel.

John Grogan will also be getting indentations put along each side of his nose to match the freakish nose of Owen Wilson.

Wilson, Aniston fetch Fox feature [Variety]

Money & Me: ‘Inquirer’ To Publish Grogan Book

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John Grogan, the ex-Inquirer columnist and Marley & Me author, has a new book coming out in addition to his two new Marley books for kids. The only problem — for him, at least — is the book was done without him knowing anything about it. Even worse, it’s a column collection. One can only imagine the “AOL disks are annoying” column from last year will make the cut.

As awful as a collection of John Grogan’s columns sounds — for the record, Marley & Me was infinitely better than any one of his columns — it actually gets worse: The Inquirer agreed to the collection, from Vanguard Press, and then sent a letter to the author letting him know this book was coming out.

Grogan, in response, has his agent fire off a letter to the publishing community (or whatever) and saying he wouldn’t be doing anything to promote the book.

“I was totally blindsided by it,” Grogan said. “It just seems like common courtesy, and basic professional behavior, to at least give the writer a phone call to say, ‘We’re thinking of doing this.’” Grogan also believes the book, which features an image of a puppy on the cover, is shamefully trying to piggyback on the success of his smash bestseller. “This has nothing to do with wanting to publish my columns and everything to do with [Vanguard and the Inquirer] getting a piece of this very large audience I have with Marley & Me,” said Grogan

Gee, you think, John? Brian Tierney sent Grogan a letter he received a few days after the deal was struck, where he offered a share of the profits for helping to promote the book. Grogan said the deal wouldn’t allow him to have any say over the content and packaging. Tierney, though, says he’d still like Grogan to help out with the book (though that’s not going to happen now) and that this book isn’t all that important anyway.

Nonetheless, the newspaper executive, recently rumored to be interested in buying Dow Jones, has bigger worries than Grogan’s feelings. “This is a $500 million company… and while we’re excited about this book, it’s not as if it’s going to be a significant revenue stream.”

Hey, you never know: People like doggies. Aww, puppies!

Grogan Dogs Vanguard’s Book of His Columns [Publishers Weekly]
Thanks, Joe

Breaking: John Grogan Denied Pulitzer Again

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The Pulitzer nominations were leaked yet again, and once again John Grogan was denied a Pulitzer.

Shocking, I know, since this would have been the year of not only the AOL CD column but also the beach tags column, which asked what Thomas Jefferson and Woodie Guthrie would have thought about beach tags?

He will have to settle for the millions of copies of his book sold, the other book he’s (assumedly) working on now and the film version in development. Alas!

Here We Go Again — Pulitzer Finalists Leaked! [Editor & Publisher]
Archives: John Grogan

‘Inquirer’ Columnists To Retire, Write About Puppydogs

This morning, from Inquirer columnist/Marley & Me author John Grogan:

Like that soldier stepping off the plane into another life, I’m stepping out of one role and into another. Today is my last as an Inquirer staff columnist. I am hanging up column writing to concentrate full time on book projects. Publisher Brian Tierney and my editors want you to know that I was not a casualty of layoffs or cutbacks or any other fate. The decision was mine alone.

Okay, I’ll give this to Grogan: He stuck with the job he was better at. (And the one that made him more money.) But just when I was wondering who was going to tell us about AOL CDs 12 years late, this came over the transom:

Romenesko e-mailed Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Tom Ferrick after getting a report that Friday is his last day at the paper. His reply: “It’s true. I am leaving. After 30 years, I have achieved escape velocity. I am taking early retirement to — what’s that phrase they always use? — pursue other interests. But, I do have a contract to do columns in connection with the mayor’s race for at least 6 months, so my name and face will be appearing in the paper for a while, to the delight of some readers and the dismay of others.”

By the end of the day, the Inquirer might not have any columnists left at all. Somebody keep a watch on Monica Yant-Kinney!

Coming home - and moving on [Inquirer]
Inky columnist Ferrick takes early retirement [Romenesko]

Doing It Doggystyle

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I knew it was only a matter of time before Grogan turned his column into Marley & Me: The Column. You know, to go along with Marley & Me: The Movie.

John Grogan | Alpha bet: It’ll work on kids, too [Inquirer]

Grogan Continues Wars On Beach Tags, Reasonable Debate

Beach Tag

On Friday, Inquirer columnist John Grogan finally discovered that some New Jersey beaches charge people a few bucks to sit on the sandy shores.

Apparently believing that beach tags, like abortion or capital punishment, is one of those issues where everyone has made up his mind and there’s no sense trying to convince anyone, Grogan name-checked every historical figure except Jesus who he thought would be opposed to beach tags.

Sub, a friend of mine and a frequent-ish commenter here, noted these words from Grogan’s column as particularly grating: “Yeah, I’m a little grumpy. … Maybe it’s the fact that a beach tag should fit any self-respecting American about as comfortably as a tight swimming suit filled with wet sand.”

He wrote:

That’s good writing… if you like tortured, stretched metaphors and fake indignation over the plight of the working class. You’re right, John, let’s abolish property rights, starting with intellectual property: specifically the copyrights to annoying, heartwarming books about dogs.

Ba-zing! Grogan continues his beach tag fun today, calling them an “un-American and undemocratic tradition” and quoting from reader mail on both sides of this issue. As if the “un-American” comparison wasn’t over the top enough, here’s his response to a reader:

“This is one of the ‘fair’ taxes, a true user fee,” wrote Brian Young Jr., who owns a home in Avalon. “Believe me when I say the property owners pay more than enough. How about I buy your beach tags and you pay my property taxes?”

How about you give me your beach house, Brian, and I’ll give you my metered parking space?

Hey, I have an idea! How about I give you five dollars and you agree to never argue like that again?

John Grogan: Taking sides on beach tags [Inquirer]
July 21: WWJD (About Beach Tags)?

WWJD (About Beach Tags)?

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Having exhausted the cute puppy and AOL CD beats, Inquirer columnist and Marley & Me author John Grogan turns today to the scourge of every beachgoer in South Jersey. Okay, the scourge of every beachgoer, except in Wildwood and Atlantic City.

Yes, Grogan takes on beach tags today, saying that it’s not the money that bothers him — it’s the principle. Beaches should be free, he writes! And then he wonders what American legends would think of beach tags:

I know what the beach towns say: that keeping clean, safe, lifeguarded beaches costs money, and the burden should be placed on those who use them.

But what would Walt Whitman say? What would Thoreau say? And Jefferson and Adams and Franklin?

What would Woody Guthrie, the balladeer who wrote “This Land is Your Land,” say? Would he have sung, “This land was made for you and me (and anyone else who can afford the fees)”?

Yes! And what would Washington say? And Columbus? And all the American Indians? And Pope Gregory the Great and Charlemagne and Reggie White and Abraham Lincoln and St. Peter and Moses and Richie Ashburn and Johnny Goodtimes and Adam and Eve?

Hmm? Think about that shore, communities!

John Grogan | N.J. beaches not land of the free [Inquirer]

Leftovers: Historical Marker News!

071406marker.jpg • The Repent America homophobes have had their petition for a historical marker denied. They actually took the time to write to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and ask for a marker at the spot they were arrested for protesting OutFest in 2004. Do you know how stupid this is? It’s stupider than writing emails to Barbaro. Helpfully, the Philadelphia Gay News article also notes that “[i]n other historical marker news, the sign commemorating the city’s earliest gay rights demonstrations, located on Sixth Street just north of Chestnut, is still mostly blocked from view by a street vendor.” [PGN]

• Moving away from historic historical marker news, John Grogan continues his anti-puppy mill crusade (and probably sells a few extra copies of Marley & Me in the process). But, hey, Philadelphia Will Do is 100 percent against puppy mills, so kudos. And this closing paragraph was fantastic: “Dogs are not people, but they also are not widgets. It’s time for serious reform.” A dog is not a widget, people! [Inky]

• Aww, a whole feature on Pete, the man who thought that The Onion was a real newspaper and that “I’m totally psyched for this abortion!” was a real opinion piece. Thanks, Salon! [Salon]

Ain’t It Cool News on Lady in the Water: “Lady In The Water is a diarrhoea [sic] splat of storytelling so haphazard, ideas so undernourished, dialogue so banal, and characterization so criminally lifeless that if you’ll be able to lift yourself out of your torpor you will be truly amazed.” Uh oh. Then again, I liked The Village. [AICN via Wookified]

• Rick Santorum sets a state record for Pennsylvania fundraising. They keep records for things like this? Is there a fundraising Hall of Fame somewhere? [AP/Philly.com]

• Award-winning headline writer Peter Mucha reports that the heat wave could hit the high 90s next week. Get new air conditioning filters, people. [Inquirer]

• And, finally, with the Phillies back in action tonight, let’s take a look at the only reason to watch them for the rest of the season: Ryan Howard home runs. Go, Ry-Ho, Go! [HitTracker]

Quickies: Fat Camp Instead Of Summer School?

• City Councilman Michael Nutter knows how to run for mayor: He says he’s going to get our kids to stop being fat! This may work with parents, but crotchety old people could be all “How about you show them some manners first!” [KYW 1060]

• Your Anthony DiMeo update, courtesy of Metro DiMeo beat reporter Josh Cornfield: “He said in previously filed court documents that the comments made about him on Max’s site caused him to live ‘in constant fear for his safety and the safety of his loved ones.’ DiMeo said in the documents that he was forced to seek out psychological counseling, that he suffered a loss of privacy and his business was affected.”

• Hey, when he’s not bashing those free AOL CDs about five years after people forgot what AOL is, and when he’s not playing with his doggy, we can always count on John Grogan for some good old fashioned Philadelphia optimism. Wait. Philadelphia optimism? [Inky]

• We Americans say goodbye to Katie Couric. Only, uh, she’s just going to be doing the news on a different station. Is she really leaving? [Gawker]