Hillary Clinton debunks rumor on new book

Hillary Clinton speaks during an awards presentation at Georgetown University, Feb.  25, 2014. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty)
Hillary Clinton speaks during an awards presentation at Georgetown University, Feb. 25, 2014.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is focused. Not necessarily on 2016, but most definitely on her new book.

The former secretary of state shed light on her upcoming memoir Tuesday in New York at the Association of American Publishers annual meeting. She said the book was about her experiences at the State Department and navigating the challenges facing the U.S. in the 21st century, “from Crimea to climate change.”  

“Just another light, summer read,” Clinton teased about the book.

The former first lady and potential 2016 presidential candidate said she was still mulling the title over her new book, but jokingly said she got some ideas when the Washington Post asked readers to send in their suggestions about a year ago.

“Bossy Pantsuit,” a spoof off of comedian Tina Fey’s autobiography was one. “The Scrunchy Chronicle,” based off her previous choices of using the outdated fabric-covered hair elastics, and “112 Countries and It Is Still All About My Hair.” Clinton joked the latter was “on the short list.”

Contrary to some people’s belief, Clinton said she writes her own books -- noting when she finished “It Takes a Village,” some press claimed she never wrote it and she had to show a reporter her long-form notes and drafts. “I still write long hand. I learned it was probably smart to continue writing long hand. So I now have barrels and barrels of old drafts in case anyone wants to see them again.” She noted her office looked like an "episode of Hoarders."

The only reference she made to 2016 was when she reflected on the lessons she learned from writing her previous four books. “Quit your day job,” so you have more time, said Clinton. “This time I promised mysef things would be different. I was leaving the state department, stepping off that high wire of American diplomacy. There would be no more interview requests, nor more frantic media speculation about my plans. Just peace and quiet in our little old Chappaqua farmhouse, in the attic where I hang out. You know it was either that or eat bonbons, so I thought, let’s write another book.”

Clinton also said she learned about checking foreign translations of her books. In China, she noted, references to a trip she took to Beijing in 1995 (and spoke about human rights) was censored. Similarly, when her husband, former President Bill Clinton, wrote a book talking about Arknasas watermelons, the Chinese edition referred to his nickname as “Mr. Watermelon.”

Clinton finished up her 15 minute speech, in front of about 300 people, talking about the need to get real books in the hands of children, noting there are not books in more than 60% of low income households. That can lead to a “word gap” in school and an “achievement gap” later in life.

Her book is due in June 2014.