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Self-published novel makes New York Times books of the year list

20th December 2012

A New York Times critic has selected a self-published book as one of the best of 2012.

Michiko Kakutani, regarded as one of the world's most influential book critics, has named television critic Alan Sepinwall's The Revolution Was Televised in a list of her ten favourite books of 2012.

The fact there is no publisher or imprint mentioned for Sepinwall’s book on Kakutani's list gives the game away, but Publishers Lunch editor Sarah Weinman spotted it and tweeted: 'Not only did Michiko Kakutani review @sepinwall's self-published book, she named it one of her favorites of the year.'

The Revolution Was Televised, which is listed by Kakutani alongside A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers and Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon, was praised by the critic for being 'engaging ... smart [and] observant'.

The book looks at the new 'golden age' of television drama and argues shows like The Wire, The Sopranos and Breaking Bad have changed the way we look at TV.

Kakutani said it was 'a spirited and thoughtful cultural history that possesses all the immediacy and detailed observation of Mr Sepinwall's popular blog'.

Sepinwall, television critic for the website, told Indie Reader: 'I've never met Michiko Kakutani in my life, nor did I have any idea she read my blog.

'I had asked a friend at the New York Times if he knew how I would go about getting the book reviewed, but it seemed like the longest of longshots — particularly after a few other newspaper people told me that their editors had a policy against reviewing self-published books — and my friend said he never heard back from the books editor.

'Then on Monday I got an email from a Times photo editor asking for a headshot to accompany a review. I still don't entirely believe that that happened, under the circumstances.'

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