On the Books: Norman Rockwell's family protests new biography for suggesting artist was gay; 'Gone Girl' paperback sale date announced

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Image Credit: Alfred Eisenstaedt/Getty Images

Members of Norman Rockwell’s family are protesting a American Mirror — a new biography of the artist by Deborah Solomon – over the book’s suggestions that he may have been secretly gay or had “pedophilic impulses.” The family members called the book “shocking” and said that Solomon’s aim for writing it was “publicity and financial gain and self-aggrandizement.” Solomon, however, said that the book is primarily about Rockwell’s work. “I feel like this is really the first book that convincingly makes the case for Rockwell’s artistic importance,” she told the New York Times, “and I would hope to keep the discussion on that subject.” [New York Times]

Random House has announced the paperback sale date for Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl: April 22, 2014, according to a press release. The novel spent 11 weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list and is being adapted into a film starring Ben Affleck, who spoke with EW about working with Flynn here.

The University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana started a new digitization project, which, through a $3.2 million grant from the Polonsky Foundation, plans to provide “Hebrew manuscripts, Greek manuscripts, and incunabula, or 15th-century printed books” for free through the project’s website. [Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project]

Apple’s e-book antitrust case continues to stir up drama, as the company said in a court filing that its court-appointed monitor, Michael Bromwich, charged $1,100 an hour. The complaint states that “Mr. Bromwich has already shown a proclivity to leap far beyond his mandate, and now this Court proposes amendments that would give him power to interview Apple personnel ex parte, something he will no doubt be quick to exploit.”

Authors weren’t the only ones who swarmed to indie bookstores for Small Business Saturday over the weekend. President Obama and his daughters, Sasha and Malia, visited Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C. to choose some titles off its shelves. [Sacramento Bee]

Egyptian poet Ahmed Fouad Negm died at the age of 84. Negm was best known for his revolutionary work and criticism of political leaders, spending 18 years in jail for protesting Egyptian presidents including Hosni Mubarak. [The Telegraph]

Book publisher Andrew Schiffrin died at 78 in Paris on Sunday. Schiffrin was renowned for working with authors including Jean-Paul Sartre, Marguerite Duras, and Gunter Grass. [LA Times]

Why do our brains love lists? Why do readers prefer clicking on “listicles” instead of reading long form journalism, and yet, feel guilty about it afterward? Maria Konnikova explores this head-scratcher. [The New Yorker]

Lolita may belong to Vladimir Nabokov, but did Dorothy Parker’s “Lolita,” a story published in The New Yorker three weeks before Nabokov’s novel arrived in bookstores, rip off Nabokov’s story after seeing the manuscript early? [New York Magazine]

ICYMI: Fifty Shades of Grey has added a new cast member: singer Rita Ora. Check out the photos of the cast here.

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