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We originally classified author Marisha Pessl as "book hot," then upped her to "TV hot," then tweaked the levels down to "Broadway hot" — all based on relevant photos, of course — but it appears that regardless of her photographic hotness, her physical presence underwhelms in terms of performance. An unimpressed witness to Pessl's weekend reading in Bryant Park reports:

Problem is, her excerpt was way too long, wasn't funny ... If you're going to go to the trouble to create such a unique website and cover for the book, would it hurt to coach her a little on how best to do these readings, which are after all smaller scale advertisements for her product? I'm not saying I won't eventually seek out Special Topics, but I certainly didn't return to the sales tent today and fork over the $25.

Touche! But really, the best thing about the book's jacket is the dewy photo of Pessl at right. Perhaps instead of reading, she can just stand motionless in center stage, under soft lighting, and allow the audience to gaze quietly upon her for 20 minutes.

Calamity book readings [CitySpecific]