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Romantic fiction in the age of Trump

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 07:15
The Guardian reports on the quandary facing romance authors--in the wake of #MeToo and Time's Up, how 'bad' should the bad boy be?

Reese Witherspoon & Kerry Washington to star in Little Fires Everywhere TV series

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 11:14
Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington will star in and executive produce the TV series Little Fires Everywhere, based on Celeste Ng's book.

15 remarkable books by women

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 10:36
New York Times critics chose 15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century...

Sherman Alexie accusers co on the record with NPR

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 10:31
Three women have gone on the record with NPR's All Things Considered--and at least seven others have spoken off the record with the show--about author Sherman Alexie's abusive treatment of them, confirming the anonymous and somewhat vague allegations that have been made recently online.

Five Oscar wins for movies based on books

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 11:42
Although many movies based on books were nominated for Oscars this year, only three won with a total of five awards between them:

Darkest Hour, based on the book Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink by Anthony McCarten: Two wins: Best Actor (Gary Oldman) and Best Makeup & Hairstyling

Call Me by Your Name, adapted from André Aciman's novel: Best Writing Adapted Screenplay (James Ivory).

Blade Runner 2049, based on characters from the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick: Two wins: Best Cinematography & Best Visual Effects

B&N to open five new concept stores

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 11:34
Later this year, Barnes & Noble will open five stores featuring a new, smaller-format design in which "front and center will be our new books," according to CEO Demos Parneros. The stores, which will ideally be 14,000 square feet--much smaller than the company's traditional 25,000-square-foot superstores--will have a "fresher, cleaner, newer, very up-to-date" feel, Parneros added.
B&N will not open any more of the new concept stores first introduced in 2016 that featured full kitchens. Parneros called the five "kitchen concept" stores "a great learning experience" that helped in the design of the newer prototype.

Author Jennifer Egan is the new president of PEN America

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 12:20
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan is the new president of PEN America. Egan, who succeeds Andrew Solomon, has been a PEN America Trustee since 2013. She is the author most recently of Manhattan Beach, awarded the Carnegie Medal for literary excellence in fiction in February. She will work in partnership with PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel.

Total US book sales up 28% in Oct '17 compared to Oct '16, Year to date sales up almost 2%.

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 12:19
What a difference a year makes. In October, total net book sales in the U.S. rose 27.6%, to $1.164 billion, compared to the same period in 2016, representing sales of 1,204 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers. For the first 10 months of the year, total net book sales were up 1.7%, to $12.441 billion.

Sherman Alexie responds to harassment accusations

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:32
After a month of online charges that he has been abusive to many women, particularly Native American women, author Sherman Alexie issued a statement yesterday. It's a mix of admission and denial and, as with so much of the matter, it's somewhat vague.

Ta-Nehisi Coates will write the Captain America comic

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:26
Ta-Nehisi Coates, the author of "Between the World and Me" and one of the country's best-known public intellectuals, announced Wednesday he would begin writing the Captain America title for Marvel Comics in July.

The writer has previously worked on Black Panther, reinvigorating the title two years before the movie based on the character became a blockbuster success. The comic sold briskly while in his hands, and one collection, Black Panther, Volume 1: A Nation Under Our Feet, was nominated for a Hugo Award in 2017. But Mr. Coates has not had unbridled success in comics: His spinoff series, Black Panther & the Crew, was canceled in May after it failed to sell as well as expected.

A lot is riding on "A Wrinkle in Time." Ava DuVernay doesn't care

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:24
Both the New York Times and Washington Post have "Wrinkle in Time" articles in anticipation of the March 9 movie release. The NY Times focuses on filmmaker Ava DuVernay while The Washington Post reviews the 1962 Newbery Medal Winner concluding that, "Artistically, the book is a mess; it's illogical, derivative and confusing, with a rushed and unconvincing ending. In 200 higgledy-piggledy pages, L'Engle throws together magic, folklore, science fiction, dystopian nightmare, Christian religiosity, 1950s fears about communism, classic notions about individuality and conformity, mystical transcendence, some slapstick humor and a lot of sentimental pablum. One starts to look for the kitchen sink. Somehow, though, this superabundance of cargo never manages to sink the book."

Why the Joy of Cooking is going after a Cornell researcher

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 05:00
America's most celebrated cookbook brand is calling out one of America's most cited food scientists--the latest chapter in a scandal that has been rocking social science.

The tiff erupted on Tuesday morning, when Joy of Cooking on Twitter called Cornell's Brian Wansink a "bad researcher" and claimed he had unfairly implicated the cookbook brand in the obesity epidemic with a flawed scientific study in 2009.

Harper Lee?s will unsealed, but only adds to the mystery

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 21:03
On Tuesday, an Alabama court unsealed author Harper Lee's will, but the mystery surrounding one of American literature's most cherished authors only deepened.

The will, signed on February 11, 2016, eight days before her death, directed that the bulk of her assets, including her literary properties, be transferred into a trust she formed in 2011.

Trust documents are private, so all questions about what will become of her literary papers and who beyond her closest relatives might benefit from her assets, will remain unanswered for now.

Penny Vincenzi dies aged 78

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 11:07
Bestselling author Penny Vincenzi, whose novels have sold more than 7m copies worldwide, has died aged 78.

Children's literature community rallies behind The March For Our Lives

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 05:00
Last Friday, young adult authors Jenny Han and Raina Telgemeier e-mailed their kidlit community to say they would organize kidlit groups to march together in New York City and in the Bay Area for the #MarchForOurLives. The authors created the hashtag #KidLitMarchesForKids, and Telgemeier--along with Siobhan Vivian's husband, Nick Caruso--designed a graphic so that kidlit people can easily find and distribute info about the march in their towns. There are now organizers in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Pa., and Ann Arbor, Mich., and other locations are joining the list daily. In the capital, author Ellen Oh has volunteered to be a point person and East City Bookshop will serve as a staging area where people can meet up for the march or make posters.

Icelandic language battles threat of 'digital extinction'

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 05:00
In an age of Facebook, YouTube and Netflix, smartphones, voice recognition and digital personal assistants, the language of the Icelandic sagas – written on calfskin between AD1200 and 1300 – is sinking in an ocean of English....

A prisoner got a book deal. Now the state wants him to pay for his imprisonment

Sat, 02/17/2018 - 09:49
In the summer of 2016, Curtis Dawkins, a felon who is serving a life sentence in Michigan for murdering a man during a botched robbery, got some unexpected good news. Scribner, one of the top literary publishing houses in the United States, wanted to publish his debut collection of short stories, and offered him $150,000.

When "The Graybar Hotel" came out last summer, he was praised as a gifted stylist whose stories illuminated the often overlooked lives of prisoners. The book was also a boon for his family: Mr. Dawkins directed the money into an education fund for his three children.

But his surprising literary debut also caught the attention of Michigan's attorney general, who now wants Mr. Dawkins, 49, to use his financial windfall to pay for his incarceration...

The Golden Man Booker Prize

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:38
The Booker Prize Foundation has launched the Golden Man Booker Prize to mark the 50th anniversary. This special one-off award will crown the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the prize, as chosen by five judges and then voted for by the public.

Since it was first awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize has become the leading prize for quality fiction in English, with the winning books setting a benchmark against which other novels are judged. The Golden Man Booker will put all 51 winners – which are all still in print – back under the spotlight, to discover which of them has stood the test of time, remaining relevant to readers today.

Barnes & Noble cutting staff due to poor holiday season and declining sales

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 11:07
Barnes & Noble is trimming its staff, laying off lead cashiers, digital leads and other experienced workers in a company-wide clearing, CNBC has learned from sources familiar with the matter.

The news came abruptly for many workers who showed up Monday morning at various Barnes & Noble locations to be notified that they no longer had a job, the people said. The number of affected workers couldn't immediately be determined. As of April 29 of last year, Barnes & Noble employed about 26,000 people.

Former Causeway Bay Books manager plans to open a book store in Taiwan

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 10:54
Former Hong Kong-based Causeway Bay Books manager Lam Wing-kei said during an interview with a foreign radio station on Tuesday that it is almost certain that he will open a book store in Taiwan and if the operation of the store is smooth, he will consider going back to Hong Kong to open a new book store.