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On the Books: Bruce Springsteen's publishing a book about a bank-robbing baby

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The Boss is jumping on the bandwagon of musicians writing children’s books with the November 4 release of Outlaw Pete, a picture book based on his 2009 song of the same name. The book will be composed of Springsteen’s lengthy lyrics about a bank-robbing baby paired with illustrations by cartoonist/author Frank Caruso, according to New York Times.

While it’s being marketed as a picture book for adults, Simon & Schuster president Jonathan Karp said it’s “for readers of all ages.”

“It’s a book for anybody who loves a good Western,” he told The Times. “Obviously, the song it’s based on is for adults. It has an adult sensibility, and so does the book. Outlaw Pete is a quintessentially Springsteen character, brought to life here, and like the song, it’s a meditation on fate. Pete is robbing banks at a very young age, and he does a lot of things he regrets, but as the lyric says, you can’t undo the things you’ve done.”

Fellow musician Keith Richards announced back in March would be writing a children’s book, following in the footsteps of Madonna, Jimmy Buffett, and three of the four Beatles.

Daniel Handler's top ten (short!) underrated books

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Daniel Handler knows you don’t have enough for every book you read to be Les  Misérables, so the writer compiled a list of his favorite short underrated books. See what he recommends below:

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On the Books: Writers remember Doris Lessing, Barbara Park; Politics & Prose joins 'Recovering The Classics' project

This weekend saw the passings of several literary greats. Read on for more of today’s top books headlines:

Doris Lessing, Nobel Prize winner and author of more than 50 books, died Sunday morning at age 94. Margaret Atwood penned a touching tribute for The Guardian here. [EW]

Children’s book author Barbara Park, best known for her Junie B. Jones books, died Friday at 66. [EW]

Finally, writer, critic, Southern literature king Louis D. Rubin died Saturday at age 89. His Algonquin Books co-founder Shannon Ravenel remembered his legacy for the News & Observer. [AP]

Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C., joined the Harvard University Bookstore as the second to participate in the project “Recovering The Classics,” which allows customers to print their own versions of books in the public domain and use crowdsourced cover art. [Politics and Prose]

Buzzfeed‘s Isaac Fitzgerald declared he won’t publish negative reviews, but The New Yorker‘s Maria Bustillos argues that negativity is necessary in literary criticism. [The New Yorker]

Also from The New Yorker: Comedian/actor/writer B.J. Novak imagines the hilarious musings of the man who invented the calendar. [The New Yorker]

The new book central: Miami. Seriously. The Miami Book Fair International, now celebrating its 30th year, is “the largest and by nearly all accounts the most diverse public literary event in the United States,” writes Lizette Alvarez. [The New York Times]

Doris Lessing, Nobel prize-winning author, dies at 94

Doris Lessing, the Nobel prize-winning, free-thinking, world-traveling and often-polarizing author of The Golden Notebook and dozens of other novels that reflected her own improbable journey across the former British empire, died Sunday. She was 94.

Her publisher, HarperCollins, said the author of more than 55 works of fiction, opera, nonfiction, and poetry, died peacefully early Sunday. Her family requested privacy, and the exact cause of death was not immediately clear.

Lessing explored topics ranging from colonial Africa to dystopian Britain, from the mystery of being female to the unknown worlds of science fiction.

She won the Nobel Literature prize in 2007. The Swedish Academy praised Lessing for her “skepticism, fire and visionary power.” When informed about winning the prize outside her London home she responded: “Oh Christ! … I couldn’t care less.” READ FULL STORY

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