Mayor Thomas Menino once stymied by co-author Jack Beatty’s book on James Michael Curley

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has a book deal, to tell the story of his life and his 20-year run as the city’s chief executive, and has hitched on with a well-known author to help him write it.

Menino’s co-author, Jack Beatty, wrote perhaps the best known nonfiction book about a Boston mayor, “The Rascal King,” detailing the life and times of James Michael Curley, the popular rogue against whom every one of his successors has been measured.

But there was a time when the malapropism-prone Menino was not quite as familiar with Beatty’s work.

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In a 1993 pre-election interview with the Globe, Menino was asked about his reading selections, and offered David McCullough’s “Truman” as the last book he’d read, perhaps the definitive biography of the 33d president (“he’s like myself, a plain speaker, no nonsense, get things done”).

The next book he planned to read, Menino said, was Beatty’s.

“I’m starting … “The Little Rascals” next.”

“You mean “The Rascal King?” asked the interviewer.

“Yes,” Menino replied. “ “The Rascal King.’ Jack Beatty, you know.”