Book now: Sondheim's sequel sets a publishing date

Is it too early to plan your Christmas shopping? Of course not. This is America. And topping my wish list for Hanukkah Harry this year will be Stephen Sondheim's Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981--2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Wafflings, Diversions and Anecdotes, which—as Talkin' Broadway's eagle-eyed Ann Miner pointed out today—is now up for preorder at Amazon.com, with a sale date of October 25. The first volume of Sondheim's collected words, Finishing the Hat, was an instant stone-cold classic: Not just a definitive assemblage of some of the wittiest writing that has ever been devised for the stage, but also a professional autobiography, an opinionated tour of Golden Age writers, a manual on lyrics and a guide to their appreciation. It's a book that sharpens your thinking about the words and the world; Sondheim's songs may not all be catchy—or try to be—but his intelligence is contagious. We eagerly await the next outbreak.