Despite exposed lies, Frey's memoir continues to sell well locally

ven after finding out author James Frey lied in his memoir "A Million Little Pieces," Peggy Adams isn't sorry she read the book.

"For me, it's personal, because my brother was a drug addict," Adams said. Her brother died in May 2001, when he was 43.

Adams, who lives in Suwanee, picked up "A Million Little Pieces" because she thought the book would give her insight into the world of an addict. Frey's book details his struggles with drugs and alcohol.

"I wouldn't have read it if I hadn't had that personal experience," Adams said.

The book, which was published in 2003, received national attention after being selected for Oprah's Book Club in September 2005.

But after a Web site revealed that Frey had embellished or made up parts of his tale, the author admitted to falsifying certain details and events in the book.

Last month, Frey appeared on Oprah to offer an apology for misleading readers.

Adams said she never expected the memoir to be absolute truth. "I was disappointed in the size of the embellishment, but not surprised," Adams said.

Finding out that Frey lied didn't change her opinion of his work. "I didn't enjoy it any less," Adams said.

She plans to continue reading memoirs - and may even write her own. Next, Adams, a member of the Gwinnett Daily Post Book Club, plans to read Haven Kimmel's "She Got Up Off the Couch" (Free Press, $24). The book club will discuss Kimmel's book at its March meeting.

A number of local readers are still interested in "A Million Little Pieces," according to area booksellers.

After Frey appeared on Oprah's show to apologize to readers, demand for Frey's book briefly increased at local bookstores.

"People were interested in it when he got on Oprah and apologized for being dishonest," said Marissa Moss, the store manager at Books for Less in Snellville.

But interest levels quickly fell. "Right now, it's not selling incredibly fast," Moss said.

At the Books for Less in Lawrenceville, customers are still buying "A Million Little Pieces," said assistant manager Paul Wolak. Some customers even expressed sympathy for Frey after his most recent Oprah appearance, he said.

Sales representatives at local chain bookstores weren't able to comment on the "Million Little Pieces" phenomenon. Still, the book is reportedly selling well at Books-A-Million in Lawrenceville and at Borders Books and Music in Buford.

Nationally, "A Million Little Pieces" is still No. 2 on the Publishers' Weekly trade paperback bestseller list. Frey's book is second only to ''Night'' by Elie Wiesel (Hill and Wang, $9) on the list. That memoir is Oprah's current book club pick.

Still, not everyone is interested in reading along with the talk show host. Adams, who has been watching Oprah for about 20 years, recently stopped tuning into the show.

"I'm very disappointed. She's just changed. A lot of my friends won't have anything to do with her, either," Adams said.

She particularly disliked Oprah's recent show with the "Million Little Pieces" author. "I thought that it was handled very poorly," Adams said.

Book club picks a memoir

The Gwinnett Daily Post Book Club certainly hasn't given up on the memoir. In fact, we love reading the stories of other people's lives. Join us this month as we read "She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana," by Haven Kimmel (Free Press, $24).

The book is a collection of essays about the author and her family. Kimmel is best known for "A Girl Named Zippy," her bestselling book about her childhood in Indiana.

•What: Gwinnett Daily Post Book Club

•Cost: The meetings are free. The book is available for $24.

•Info: Call Rachael Mason 770-963-9205, ext. 1324, for details about time and location of the meeting.