Wednesday’s books headlines includes the selling of Jane Austen portrait, an end to the legal battle between indie booksellers and publishing houses, and some bad news for Mike Tyson. Read on for those stories and more below: READ FULL STORY
The final installment of The Forsaken trilogy won’t hit shelves until July 8, 2014, but you can read an exclusive excerpt of The Defiant today! This series has been one of my under-the-radar YA favorites, and I can’t wait to read the sure-to-be-epic conclusion. Author Lisa M. Stasse emailed us a few thoughts about the cover and book: “Lizzy Bromley designed the covers for The Forsaken and The Uprising as well. I am totally in love with her work. It’s so unusual, eye-catching, and futuristic,” she said. “The cover for The Defiant has a lot of secret meanings hidden in it—including the color choices, and the two figures on the front. This is the last book in the trilogy, so all the mysteries get answered, but at the same time, there are some new twists and surprises. The characters have to decide what sides they must take, even if it goes against their instincts.” READ FULL STORY
Adam Sternbergh is the culture editor of The New York Times Magazine. Formerly an editor-at-large for New York, his writing has been featured in several other publications including GQ, The Times of London, and on the radio program This American Life. He lives in Brooklyn. His first novel, Shovel Ready, will be published by Crown on January 14, 2014. He is at work on a second Spademan novel, Near Enemy, which is set to publish in 2015.
Pity the antihero. Amid his usual routine of skirting the law, living by a code, and implicitly calling into question the validity of our bourgeois social structures, he (or she!) must now contend with a new menace: Antihero fatigue.
This fatigue started, as with so many things, on our TV screens. No sooner had Breaking Bad, that brilliant showcase for the morally decaying American male, ended its series run then TV watchers publicly brushed their hands and announced they were done with the antihero. “Can We Make Walter White Our Last Antihero, Please?” read the straightforward headline of one typical essay. The Shield? Great. Mad Men? Of course. Breaking Bad? Huzzah! Antiheros sure had a good run, but now we’ve had our fill. READ FULL STORY
On the Books: Oprah unveils latest book club pick; more than 500 authors lobby UN over international bill of digital rights
We’ve got plenty of book news for today: Oprah chose a new title for her book club, award-winning authors around the world are protesting state surveillance, and more book deals have been announced. (A sports item even made its way into this morning’s headlines.) Read on for more:
Oprah Winfrey has announced a new Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 pick: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, about two women on a quest for freedom. “The moment I finished The Invention of Wings, I knew this had to be the next Book Club selection,” Winfrey said in the press release. “These strong female character represent the women that have shaped our history and, through Sue’s imaginative storytelling, give us a new perspective on slavery, injustice and the search for freedom.”
More than 500 authors — including Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Tom Stoppard, and Margaret Atwood — are lobbying the United Nations over an international bill of digital rights, releasing a joint statement protesting state surveillance. “A person under surveillance is on longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy,” they wrote. “WE DEMAND THE RIGHT for all people to determine, as democratic citizens, to what extent their personal data may be legally collected, stored and processed, and by whom.” [The Guardian]
Parks/MacDonald Productions has won the movie and TV rights to the book League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth, written by ESPN reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainuru. PBS Frontline produced a documentary earlier this year on the investigation over football-related injuries based on the book. [Variety]
Actor Terry Crews has inked a deal for his first book Manhood with Ballantine Bantam Dell to be published May 2014. According to the press release, the book will cover Crews’ life and 25-year marriage, “including straight-talking advice for men and the women who love them.”
The winners of 2013′s Roald Dahl Funny Prize, honoring children’s books, have been announced, with Jim Smith’s I Am Still Not a Loser taking the prize in the 7-14 category, and Simon Rickerty’s Monkey Nut winning for ages six and under. [The Telegraph]
The world’s oldest romance novelist, Ida Pollock, has died at the age of 105. Pollock’s daughter said the writer, who authored more than 120 books, died Dec. 3 at a nursing home near her house in Lanreath, England. [USA Today]
Stephen King joined Twitter Friday. “My first tweet,” he posted. “No longer a virgin. Be gentle!” [Twitter]
Charles McGrath discussed what it’s like to judge the National Book Awards. [The New York Times]
Instead of delivering the traditional Nobel Lecture in Literature speech, 2013 winner Alice Munro released a video interview. [Nobelprize.org]
The penultimate installment of The Bane Chronicles arrives next week (Dec. 17), but you can see the cover today. The Last Stand of the New York Institute (written by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan) was originally scheduled as the final novella in the spin-off series, but jumped ahead in the publication schedule. Here’s the official description: “In the time of the Uprising, Valentine’s Circle goes after Downworlders in New York…and the Shadowhunters of the Institute must decide whether to join him, or fight with Magnus and his kind. This is the first time Magnus sees Jocelyn, Luke, and Stephen—but not the last. It is not long before Jocelyn seeks him out….”
There’s only one more ebook in the series. Are you excited about the conclusion? Check back next month for the final cover reveal.
On the Books: Maya Angelou writes poem for Nelson Mandela; Simon & Schuster launches 'Hot Bed' category
Today’s headlines feature plenty of must-reads, but one news item highlights a book published half a decade ago. Read on for more: READ FULL STORY
'The Wire' star Wendell Pierce announces Katrina-inspired book, 'What's the Good of Losing Heart Now?' -- EXCLUSIVE
For Wendell Pierce, the actor much-lauded for his roles in The Wire and Treme, the hurricane that ripped through New Orleans more than eight years ago is never far from his heart and mind.
Riverhead Books has announced exclusively to EW that Pierce, who watched as Hurricane Katrina destroyed his childhood home and neighborhood in 2005, is penning a book about the national catastrophe and the effect it had on his family, his life, his memory, and his hometown. What’s the Good of Losing Heart Now will tell the story of how the actor’s efforts to rebuild his neighborhood, Pontchartrain Park, through his art and resources, led him to reflect deeply on his roots and the life that generations of black New Orleanians before him built in the face of racism and oppression.
Pierce said of the experience that inspired him to write What’s the Good of Losing Heart Now: ”What thoughts are to the individual – who am I, what have I done, where am I going – Art is to the community. Art is the place where we reflect on our strengths, our weaknesses, what we value as a people, and who we hope to become.”
The British edition of the Harry Potter series has gotten a visual makeover for its latest complete set, Bloomsbury has announced. The new editions have been redesigned with art by Jim Kay, an artist chosen by J.K. Rowling, and The Telegraph has a look. [The Telegraph]
Following Nelson Mandela’s death, NPR revisits his books, the autobiography Long Walk to Freedom and Conversations with Myself. Among all the coverage, there are also standout pieces from The New York Times, which published an extensive interactive graphic outlining his speeches and memorable quotes, and The New Yorker, which revisited the power of Mandela’s words through verse.
The Blue Peter Book Awards has announced its 2014 shortlist. The award celebrates children’s books in fiction and non-fiction categories, with the two winning books to be announced on March 6, 2014. [The Telegraph]
On to some must-reads: New poems by John Ashbery have been published in The American Reader. [The American Reader]
Susannah Jacob examines the life of Rose Williams, Tennessee Williams’ schizophrenic sister and the inspiration for The Glass Menagerie‘s Laura Wingfield. [The Paris Review]
Megan Garber predicts birds will be the primary enemy of Amazon’s delivery drones. [The Atlantic]
USA Today has a roundup of the best cookbooks for the holidays. [USA Today]
And ICYMI: Lena Dunham interviewed Judy Blume for Believer magazine. [EW]
Lena Dunham and Judy Blume may seem like unlikely gal pals, but both have spoken in the past about their admiration for each other’s work: Dunham grew up with Blume’s novels (and even used Summer Sisters as an inspiration for her HBO show Girls), while Blume is a vocal fan of Dunham’s show.
Naturally, the duo had to meet each other and have a chat stat — and The Believer has made it happen. The magazine brought the two together for their first meeting, during which they discussed everything from the books they read as children, Blume’s tendency to make up books for book reports, and, of all things, horses.
Here’s an excerpt of their conversation, which will be published in full by Believer in a limited edition, 80-page book:
LENA DUNHAM: As a kid, what was popular? What were the books people read at school? Was it the Bobbsey Twins and Boxcar Children?
JUDY BLUME: I never read the Bobbsey Twins or Boxcar Children, but—
My first favorite books were the ones in the Betsy-Tacy series. But they weren’t popular in school. I didn’t know anyone else who was reading them. I liked Nancy Drew, used my allowance to buy one every week at the Ritz Bookstore. In sixth grade I made up books to give book reports on.
You invented them?
You would report on a book that had never existed?
Were you ever caught?
Nope. I always got an A on those.
I just wasn’t interested in the kinds of books I thought I was meant to be reading. I wasn’t that interested in stories about prairie girls or horse stories. I never read a horse book in my life, but I thought that’s what my friends were reading and that’s what I should be reading—Dobbin does this and Dobbin does that.
That was the name of your series?
It was about a horse named Dobbin, yes. I made up the characters and the theme and I stood up in front of the class and I gave my report.
On the books you made up in your mind?
That’s a literary hoax, basically.
I had never heard of a literary hoax then. Still, I knew it wasn’t right. The thing is, I was reading. I was reading from the bookshelves at home, but how could I report on those books? I tell teachers now, when I tell this story, I say, “How about just once during the school year, give your students the chance to invent books? See what they come up with.”
Did you ever say in the book report that you didn’t like it—that it wasn’t good?
I don’t think so.
That would be a whole other meta-layer.
The book, Judy Blume and Lena Dunham in Conversation, will be available for purchase by Believer subscribers only.
Penguin Books acquires Joël Dicker's international bestseller 'The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair'
Penguin Books has won the rights to Swiss author Joël Dicker’s The Truth About the Harry Quebert, the Penguin Group imprint announced today.
According to the press release, the acquisition is the biggest in the Penguin Books’ history. The book has made a splash overseas, winning three literary prizes in France, topping bestseller lists in Italy and Spain, and gaining ground at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, where the publisher of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo bought the title.
Dicker’s novel centers on the disappearance of a 15-year-old New Hampshire girl, whose case attracts the attention of a young American writer, Marcus Goldman, when her body turns up in the backyard of his mentor’s home.
The thriller will be published May 27, 2014.
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