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Category: Books (71-80 of 2000)

On the Books: Long-lost Dr. Seuss stories hit shelves

Horton-and-the-Kwuggerbug

A new Dr. Seuss book was published Tuesday, 23 years after the writer’s death. Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories is a collection of four previously unpublished short stories that Seuss wrote for Redbook magazine in the 1950s. The stories, discovered by Seuss biographer Charles Cohen and published by Random House, feature both familiar faces like The Grinch and Horton the elephant, as well as new characters like the titular Kwuggerbug. Theodor Geisel, the man behind the legendary pseudonym, died in 1991. [The Telegraph]

British fantasy novelist Graham Joyce died Tuesday at the age of 59 after a yearlong battle with lymphoma. Joyce’s publisher Gollancz, confirmed the news via Twitter: “Graham Joyce was a writer of huge heart. He loved people and his writing celebrated the magic of them. His books are a fitting legacy.” The multiple-time British Fantasy award winner was mourned on Twitter by fans and fellow authors including Stephen King, who tweeted, “Very sad to hear that Graham Joyce, a truly great novelist, has passed away. Too soon. Far too soon.” [The Guardian]

The nation’s largest bookstore, Barnes & Noble, experienced a 7-percent loss in revenue in its first quarter, ending in August—but managed to cut its net losses from $87 million to $28.4 million in the first period of the fiscal year. Retail CEO Mitch Klipper said that part of the reduction in declining sales is due to the ongoing dispute between retailer Amazon and publisher Hachette, as well as the popularity of movies adapted from young-adult books. B&N’s future revenues will in part be determined by its Nook Media ebook business and a new joint venture with Google, a book delivery system, currently being piloted. [Publishers Weekly]

Celebrity television judge-turned-author Judge Judy Sheindlin is giving away her new book for free. What Would Judy Say?: Be the Hero of Your Own Story is downloadable on Sheindlin’s website a PDF or e-book, free of charge.  On the site, Scheindlen—who collects a bigger paycheck than any other celebrity on TV, earning nearly a million dollars per workday—describes her book as “an honest conversation with women about what it really takes to get what you deserve out of life.” [Los Angeles Times]

 

 

 

 

Ursula Le Guin honored with National Book Foundation award

Every year, the National Book Foundation awards the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to an author “who has enriched our literary heritage over a life of service, or a corpus of work.” Since the medal’s inception, authors spanning all genres have been honored, from David McCullough’s historical nonfiction to Ray Bradbury’s science fiction and everything in between.

This year, the foundation has awarded the medal to Ursula Le Guin, whose body of sci-fi and fantasy work spans dozens of novels, short stories, and poems.

READ FULL STORY

See inside the official 'Sons of Anarchy' book, and read the Tara chapter

Sons-of-Anarchy-Cover

As Sons of Anarchy fans rev up for the start of the final season (premiering Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. ET on FX), creator Kurt Sutter has revealed the cover of the show’s forthcoming companion book, Sons of Anarchy: The Official Collector’s Edition, for which he penned an introduction. It’ll hit shelves Dec. 10, the day after the FX drama’s series finale airs.

EW has an exclusive first look inside at the chapter on Tara (Maggie Siff), a map of SOA charters, the SAMCRO family tree, and more. Click on the images for a fuller size. READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Americans appear on Man Booker shortlist for first time

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The shortlist of contenders for the United Kingdom’s prestigious Man Booker Prize, announced today, includes American authors Joshua Ferris and Karen Joy Fowler among the unprecedentedly multinational selection. The competition—which until this year was only open to citizens of the the U.K., U.K. Commonwealth, Ireland, and Zimbabwe—considered writers from any country, as long as they were published in English in the United Kingdom. Here is the list in full:

Joshua Ferris (U.S.), To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Viking)
Richard Flanagan (Australian), The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Chatto & Windus)
Karen Joy Fowler (U.S.), We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Serpent’s Tail)
Howard Jacobson (British), J (Jonathan Cape)
Neel Mukherjee (British), The Lives of Others (Chatto & Windus)
Ali Smith (British), How to be Both (Hamish Hamilton)

Despite fears of British authors being shut out by American literary powerhouses, Brits still dominated the competition, nabbing three of the six spots on the shortlist. AC Grayling, chair of the judges, said the selection is “a strong, thought-provoking shortlist which we believe demonstrates the wonderful depth and range of contemporary fiction in English.” The winner of the $80,000 award will be announced in London on Oct. 14. [NPR]

Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards’ children’s book, Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar, hits shelves today. Published by Little, Brown and illustrated by Richards’ daughter Theodora, the book is about Richards’ childhood memories of jazz-musician grandfather Gus, who shared his love for music and London with a young Keith. [USA Today]

Publishers Weekly conducted an informal poll of more than 20 independent bookstores, finding that despite earlier predictions, most of the stores enjoyed a successful summer. Though overall book sales fell nearly 8 percent in the first half of 2014, PW‘s poll shows that many small booksellers saw a surge in sales over the last quarter. Storeowners attribute part of the increase to the Hachette-Amazon feud—Powell’s Books of Portland, Ore., for example, received 10,000 pre-orders for Edan Lepucki’s California after getting a mention on The Colbert Report.

Prepare for 'The Flash' with DC Comics' 'Season Zero'

While the Flash is gearing up for a run on his own CW series, debuting Oct. 7, you can get a jump on the scarlet speedster’s adventures today with DC Comics’ Digital First series The Flash: Season Zero.

Written by executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, along with series writers Brooke Eikmeier and Katherine Walczak, The Flash: Season Zero takes place after the pilot and before the rest of the series. It follows the young superhero as he begins to learn his powers with the help of his S.T.A.R. Labs team, under guidance of the suspicious Harrison Wells, as well as his role as protector of Central City as he faces off against newly super-empowered criminals.

While the Flash’s main Rogues Gallery, including Weather Wizard, Captain Cold, and Heat Wave, are scheduled to appear on the TV series, there’s still a limit to the scope of what the showrunners can realistically produce for television. The comic book series, however, will take advantage of artistic expertise of Phil Hester, showing The Flash take on even more outlandish foes from the DC Universe, starting with Circus Barker Mr. Bliss, and his Carnival of Metahuman Freaks.

But the comic won’t just be all spectacle. Expect more intimate moments between Barry and his supporting cast; his imprisoned father Henry Allen, mentor Detective West, best friend/unrequited love Iris West, and her new beau, Officer Eddie Thawne. With each issue containing some clues hinting at future episode storylines, the writers ultimately want this to enrich the TV viewing experience. Just don’t expect an Arrow/Flash crossover in these pages. Due to the shifting timelines between the series, the writers are saving that for the screen.

The first chapter of The Flash Season Zero is available today. New issues of The Flash and Arrow will be available bi-weekly, alternating every Monday, and they will also be collected and published monthly, the first print issue of which will be available on Oct. 1, the week before the TV series’ season premiere. Check out a sample of the artwork below by Phil Hester.

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Image Credit: DC Entertainment

John Green, Veronica Roth, George R.R. Martin among top literary earners

So much for the starving-writer stereotype. In a story published Monday, Forbes listed the best-paid authors in the business—and their incomes are enough to make just about any office drone reconsider their boring desk job for a life of fiction writing. READ FULL STORY

J.K. Rowling speaks out against Scottish independence on Twitter

Scotland is set to hold a historic referendum vote on Sept. 18 to decide whether or not the divided country should separate from the United Kingdom and become an independent nation, and world-famous British author J.K. Rowling has taken to Twitter to express her opposition to Scottish independence. On Sept. 6, the Harry Potter series author tweeted, “People before flags, answers not slogans, reason not ranting, unity not enmity #bettertogether.”

Rowling also took to Twitter to support a measure being billed as a compromise, writing “I sincerely hope that the rumours in the Sunday papers that we are about to be offered Devo Max are true”—referring to a vote that could significantly increase Scotland’s fiscal and political independence while maintaining its ties to the U.K. READ FULL STORY

On the books: Barnes & Noble reveals instant-print Espresso Book Machine

Bookseller Barnes & Noble is launching the Espresso Book Machine at three store locations, including New York’s Union Square flagship. The machines, which retail at $80,000 a piece, print books on demand—then collate, cover, and bind them in minutes for customers. [Good e-Reader]

Valérie Trierweiler, the ex-girlfriend of French President François Hollande, published a tell-all memoir last week. France’s former First Lady writes in detail about her relationship with the highly unpopular President Hollande, including the devastation she experienced after finding out about his highly publicized affair with French actress Julie Gayet. A senior Socialist politician said that the release of the book is “a mortal poison for François but also, perhaps, for a whole generation of politicians,” The Telegraph reports READ FULL STORY

Usher and Scholastic join forces to promote young readers

The Scholastic catalogs you got in elementary school were already cool, but now Usher is joining forces with the children’s publishing giant to launch the “Open the World of Possible” initiative, which is designed to encourage young readers. On Nov. 6, Usher will perform and host a a live webcast, “Bigger Than Words,” which will broadcast live from the Scholastic headquarters in New York City.

“I established New Look, a charitable organization to assist young people to become leaders and to instill in them a belief that they can create change in their communities and around the world,” said Usher. “I’m excited to host the webcast with Scholastic to demonstrate to kids how reading frequently, and being a reading mentor to their friends and others in their community, can open doors to endless possibilities.”

As a further part of the initiative, the Scholastic Possible Fund will make a donation of 100,000 books, and each of three leading non-profits that distribute books to children who need them most will receive a portion of the donation.

On the Books: You can now have your cookbook and eat it too

real-cookbook

German design firm KOREFE has reinvented the term “visual feast” with The Real Cookbook, the world’s first and only edible cookbook.

The book is made to be cooked and eaten after reading—the pages are not paper but sheets of fresh lasagna noodles, imprinted with a recipe explaining how to add fresh fillings to the book and then bake it to cheesy perfection.

The award-winning novelty was “designed as a special project for a large publishing house,” according to the KOREFE website. “The prose etched on the four inner pages of pasta toys with the idea of how important the contents of a cookery book can be,” said Antje Hedde, the head of the innovative design firm.

Just remember to bake after reading. [Design Daily]

The coalition of over 900 authors banded against Amazon known as Authors United shared a fiery new letter this week, as the book-pricing standoff between the online retail giant and publishers including Hachette continues.

The email, penned by Hachette author Douglas Preston, accuses Amazon of sanctioning over 7,000 Hachette titles, affecting 2,500 authors. “Hachette authors have seen their sales at Amazon decline at least 50%,and in many cases as much as 90%,” Preston writes. “Amazon has other negotiating tools at its disposal than harming the very authors who helped it become one of the largest retailers in the world.”

The letter also charges that Amazon has misrepresented the situation to the public, “falsely trying to depict us as ‘rich’ authors who are seeking higher e-book prices, while it is fighting on behalf of the consumer for lower prices.”

The letter was distributed to the members of Authors United—the writers who signed the open letter calling on Amazon to resolve its feud with Hachette, published as full-page New York Times ad in August. Preston closes by hinting at an eminent Authors United call-to-action: “[W]e are forced to move on to our next initiative. I will be asking you once again for the use of your good name— perhaps as soon as next week. Stay tuned.” [Publishers Weekly]

Acclaimed author Margaret Atwood is the first contributor to The Future Library project, a forward-thinking initiative started in Oslo, Norway that can best be described as a bibliological time capsule. The fiction work Atwood is currently writing will be locked away in a vault, not to be read by any human for a century.

The project—conceived by Katie Paterson, an award-winning Scottish artist—started with the planting of 1,000 trees outside Oslo this summer. “Every year until 2114, one writer will be invited to contribute a new text to the collection,” reports The Guardian, “and in 2114, the trees will be cut down to provide the paper for the texts to be printed—and, finally, read.”

Atwood, a Man Booker Prize-winning novelist, is excited to be the first on board. “I think it goes right back to that phase of our childhood when we used to bury little things in the backyard, hoping that someone would dig them up, long in the future,” she told The Guardian. 

“[W]hen you write any book you do not know who’s going to read it, and you do not know when they’re going to read it,” Atwood said. “So books, anyway, really are like the message in the bottle.” She predicts that language may evolve so much over the next century that future readers may need a paleo-anthropologist to help translate the book.

One perk of a release date set for 100 years in the future? No need to worry about the critics. “You don’t have to be around for the part when if it’s a good review the publisher takes credit for it,” Atwood said, “and if it’s a bad review it’s all your fault.”

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