On the Books: 'Allegiant' outselling 'Hunger Games' preorders; two new 'Captain Underpants' books

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Divergent wins this week’s round in dystopian YA novel sales against Hunger Games, while Captain Underpants will be returning to shelves with two new installments. Read on for more today’s books headlines:

Veronica Roth’s Allegiant, the third title in her Divergent series, is outselling the Hunger Games in its first month of preorders at Amazon. [LA Times]

Scholastic announced two new Captain Underpants books by author Dav Pilkey: Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000 will be released Aug. 26, 2014 and Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot will be published August 2015. [USA Today]

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt and senior vice president Jonathan Rosenberg partnered on a book deal with Grand Central Publishing’s business imprint to release No Adult Supervision Required: How to Build Successful 21st Century Companies. [Mediabistro]

Authors Jill Brooke and Emily Liebert are packaging merchandise including apparel, mugs and nail polish with their books to help unlock book sales on the retail level. [New York Post]

Here’s an update on the Nobel Prize in Literature: Writers are chiming in on why more Americans don’t win the Nobel Prize. Ian Crouch blames European snobbery, while Radhika Jones writes that she’s “baffled by the chorus that rises with every autumnal equinox, of American critics lobbying for American writers.”

Some adaptations news: The Fault in Our Stars announced its release date, and Leo Tolstoy’s classic War And Peace will be adapted into a six-part BBC series to be released in the U.K. in 2015.

On to some bad news and, well, more bad news: American adults’ reading skills are below average compared to adults in several other developed countries, and those reading skills are declining, according to a study of 160,000 people by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. [LA Times]

To help take your mind of that, check out author Mark Forsyth’s list of top 10 lost words, including sprunt and wamblecropt. [The Guardian]

Or give author Sarah Hall’s short story “Mrs Fox” a listen. The piece just won the BBC short story prize, garnering her £15,000 in award money. [BBC4]

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