Popes autobiography tipped as bestseller
Pope John Paul's "autobiographical reflection" on the last 50 years of his life, entitled "Get up. Let us go!" is bound to be another world best seller according to the Vatican and Italy's largest publishing house.
The new 200-page book is to be published by Italy's Mondadori and released on the pope's 84th birthday on May 18.
The title is taken from some of Christ's last words to his apostles the night before he died. But Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said it would be wrong to see the work as a last testament from the pope, who suffers from Parkinson's disease.
"It is more of a call to action, like saying 'there is much work to be done'," Navarro-Valls said at a presentation with Mondadori executives.
The Roman Catholic leader's first book for mass circulation, "Crossing the Threshold of Hope", has sold more than 20 million copies in 50 editions around the world since it was published in 1994, also by Mondadori.
The pope is already the most prolific pontiff in history, having penned dozens of encyclicals, essays and messages to the world's Roman Catholics.
The Vatican said that, as with all papal writings, he will give his royalties to charities and development projects.
They said the book, some 40 short chapters which the pope wrote last spring and summer, is an "autobiographical reflection" on his life since about 1958, when he became bishop of the southern Polish city of Krakow.
"It is a book of memories and reflections with autobiographical reflections," Navarro-Valls said, adding that it was "an easy read ... full of freshness, vitality and humour," aimed at inspiring the largest number of readers.
It is hoped that deals with other publishing houses will be done in time to have the book ready in several other languages by May 18th.