“Real Time With Bill Maher,” Tonight

I’ll be talking about my book The Family tonight on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher.” One of the other guests is MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who through her seven invitations to me to appear on her program has almost single-handedly turned my sleepy paperback sales into bestselling numbers — #16 on this week’s NYT list, #4 on next’s. That doesn’t happen often for a book with footnotes, chapter-length digressions about 18th century divines, and discussion of “theonomy.” But Maddow knows how to turn my wonkery into television. Here’s the most recent appearance, via Daily Kos, with links to the whole series. If it all seems puzzling, here are two summary articles I wrote about the Family and their role in what Maddow calls “the political story of the summer.” Religious, too. Salon; Daily Beast. Last, but not least at all, is my favorite piece of religion journalism this week, “Like I Was Jesus,” by Rachel Aviv in Harper’s magazine. It’s about evangelists who target children, and it’s fascinating — but it’s subscriber only. So subscribe, already. Harper’s is worth it.

Jeff Sharlet is a founding editor of Killing the Buddha, coauthor with Peter Manseau of Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible (2004) and co-editor of Believer, Beware (2009). Sharlet is also the author of Sweet Heaven When I Die, (2011), C Street, (2010), and the New York Times bestseller The Family (2008).