The highly-anticipated first authorized biography of Warren Buffett was supposed to be kept under wraps until its release nine days, 2 hours, 24 minutes and 24 seconds from the moment I'm typing these words. That's September 29. (The book's official site has a second-by-second countdown to its on-sale date, which is also available as widget to put on "your site or blog.")
But tonight the Associated Press is out with some tidbits from The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder.
Josh Funk writes that the AP got an audio version of the book today (Friday).
His take: "More than most previous books about Buffett, Schroeder examines the billionaire's flaws as well as his successes" as it tells the "tale of how the brilliant but needy Buffett built a fortune by investing in undervalued companies."
One example, says Funk, is that "when Buffett was a newlywed in his early 20s, he relied on his wife Susan to help cut his hair, stock the pantry and help him deal with other people."
He cites this passage from Schroeder's book: "In every area of life except business, Susie was discovering her husband was riddled with self-doubt. He had never felt love, and she saw, he did not feel lovable."
Although Susan Buffett left Omaha in the late '70s to live in California, they never divorced, "even though he lived with another woman most of those years." Buffett married Astrid Menks in 2006, two years after Susan died.
Funk reports that in the book's introduction, Schroeder quotes Buffett encouraging her not to go easy on him. "Whenever my version is different than somebody else's ... use the less flattering version."
The books publisher tells the AP that Buffett reviewed the book but didn't make any changes.
The Snowball is expected to be one of the biggest business books of the fall. Right now, it is ranked number 69 in books overall on Amazon.com, and number one for business/investing biographies and histories. Schroeder reportedly got a $7 million deal to write the book, spoke with Buffett for "thousands" of hours, and has been working on the project since at least 2005, says the AP.
CNBC.com's Bullish on Booksblog has reported that The Snowball is one of 6 finalists for this year's Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award.
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