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Tag: On the Books (1-10 of 202)

On the Books: Sherlock Holmes exhibit comes to London

Today the Museum of London opened an exhibition dedicated to Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective. The exhibit, London’s first on the fictional favorite in over 60 years, showcases early editions, illustrations, photos and artifacts from the Victorian world in which Holmes and his creator lived. There’s also a wide assortment of props on display, from Holmes’ signature pipe and sidekick Dr. John Watson’s medical tools to the coat Benedict Cumberbatch wears to portray a modern day Sherlock on the popular BBC series. Here’s a photo gallery of some of the exhibit’s highlights. [The Telegraph]

A Texas native did wonders for the stereotype of the idiot American tourist by getting himself locked inside a London bookstore last night, live-documenting his ordeal on social media. Dallas native David Willis posted a photo from inside the dark Trafalgar Square Waterstones to Instragram just after 10 p.m. GMT last night, writing: “This is me locked inside a waterstones bookstore in London. I was upstairs for 15 minutes and came down to all the lights out and door locked. Been here over an hour now. Supposedly someone is on their way. #nofilter #london.” 45 minutes later, he tweeted, “Hi @Waterstones I’ve been locked inside of your Trafalgar Square bookstore for 2 hours now. Please let me out,” before announcing “I’m free” 90 minutes later. Later, Willis retweeted screenshots of his amusing text conversations with a friend during the incident.

Bestselling young adult fantasy writer Margaret Stohl is penning a novel starring Marvel Comics character the Black Widow. The co-author of the Caster Chronicles series—upon which last year’s supernatural romance film Beautiful Creatures was based—revealed the news at Warner Brothers’ NYC Comic-Con panel this week, “Women of Marvel.” Comics Beat reports that Stohl said the book, set to be published in 2015, is “the badassiest thing I’ve ever been asked to work on in my life.” She added that Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson in the Marvel film franchise, is “the very best hot mess I know.” [GalleyCat]

Independent publishing imprint McSweeney’s is officially becoming a nonprofit, announced founder and author Dave Eggers. “For 15 years now, it’s been a break-even operation,” Eggers, 44, told The New York Times, saying that McSweeney’s has placed its integrity over profit margins since its founding 16 years ago. “I’ve always been attracted to books and projects that we love and are passionate about, and it doesn’t always intersect with books that will sell a million copies.” Eggers said the change will enable the publisher to specialize in less commercialized genres like poetry and foreign translations. He plans to source funds from foundation grants, individual donations and crowd-funding. “Our goal is to exist and keep on publishing in whatever way is most viable, and for us that’s as a nonprofit.” [The New York Times]

On the Books: 52 years of Bob Dylan lyrics to be compiled into 1 hefty book

Bob Dylan is more than the voice of his generation—more than 50 years after the release of his first album, the musician’s timeless lyrics are embedded in American culture from pop music to politics, and even medical research. Now, all of Dylan’s song lyrics will be immortalized in one place: a 960-page compilation.

The Lyrics: Since 1962, out on Oct. 28, is an illustrated collection of the songwriter’s work, complete with annotations by British literary scholar Christopher Ricks. The Simon & Schuster release will cost $200 and weigh an incredible 13.5 lbs. “It’s the biggest, most expensive book we’ve ever published, as far as I know,” S&S President Jonathan Karp told The New York Times.

Ricks’ commentary will document the evolution of Dylan’s songwriting over his five-decade career. “It is, in a way, a work of scholarship,” he told the Times. “But it is also a book for people who love these songs, and who would be grateful to be reminded that these songs are always in a state of extraordinary flux. They’re amazing, shape-changing things.”

Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor also announced she has a book in the works, a tell-all memoir to be published by Penguin imprint Blue Rider Press in March 2016. The untitled autobiography is already looking juicy: “I look forward to dishing the sexual dirt on everyone I’ve ever slept with,” O’Connor said. “I’ve never stopped expressing myself in my music, and now, with a book,” added O’Connor, who got into an online feud about mental health with Miley Cyrus last year. [The Guardian]

Simon & Schuster will partner up with content-curating social media platform Milq to help establish its books category. Milq, which launched earlier this year, is a free site that lets members collect and share everything from articles to videos by posting on a variety of topical content threads. Milq has already worked with companies like VICE and Vanity Fair to curate categories including movies, sports and art—while promoting their partner brand. [Publishers Weekly]

Literary agent Loretta Barrett has died at the age of 74 of complications due to a brain tumor. After more than two decades working at agencies including Doubleday and Anchor Press, Barrett launched her own eponymous agency in 1990, working with clients from J.R. Ward to Chaz Bono. In 2011, she was honored by Reading Is Fundamental for her 32 years of service to the organization, during which she brought an estimated 3 million books to low-income children in the U.S. [Publishers Lunch]

On the Books: J.K. Rowling hints she's almost done with 'Fantastic Beasts' screenplay

- J.K. Rowling sparked some Twitter excitement with a series of tweets thought to be about the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.”Very busy at the moment working on a novel, tweaking a screenplay and being involved in @lumos campaigns. Back when I’ve finished something!” Rowling posted on Sunday afternoon, explaining her recent Twitter inactivity. A few minutes later, she responded to a fan who tweeted “Everytime @jk_rowling tweets I stop what ever I’m doing and analyze it for an hour,” with this: “See, now I’m tempted to post a riddle or an anagram. Must resist temptation… must work…” Rowling followed through on that temptation this morning, when she posted “Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense,” and, shortly after, “Something to ponder while I’m away X.” So, is it a riddle or an anagram? A plot clue? Or perhaps, a befuddling bewitchment cast via Twitter—avid Potter fans will surely be theorizing over the meaning of the cryptic tweet for days and weeks to come, as Rowling seems to have intended.

Fantastic Beasts will be a trilogy of films based on the book of the same name she published in 2001, a survey of the magical creatures in her Harry Potter series. David Yates, who directed several of the Harry Potter movies, will direct the first film in the Warner Bros. franchise, set for a Nov. 2016 release. Rowling has said that in the films, “[t]he laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway,” as EW reported last fall. The novel Rowling is working on is presumably her next crime novel under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. This is her first screenplay.

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On the Books: Mary-Louise Parker to pen memoir in the form of letters

Actress Mary-Louise Parker will tell her life story through a series of letters penned to the most important men in her life—so exes Billy Crudup and Jeffrey Dean Morgan should maybe look out. Dear Mr. You will be released by Simon & Schuster imprint Scribner in fall 2015. “I am so honored and thrilled to be working with Scribner and in the company of such wonderful writers,” said Mary-Louise Parker in a Scribner press release.

“From Frank McCourt to Jeannette Walls to Anjelica Huston, Scribner loves a great memoirist, and Mary-Louise Parker is one,” added senior vice president and publisher Nan Graham. “Her writing is magnificent; the conceit—a memoir in letters to men—is wholly original and brilliantly executed.” The Emmy-, Tony-, and Golden Globe-winning actress is best known for her critically acclaimed role as pot-dealing widow Nancy Botwin on Showtime’s Weeds. 

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On the Books: 'Maze Runner' author James Dashner to pen new prequel

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Young adult author James Dashner will write a new prequel to his bestselling post-apocalyptic trilogy, The Maze Runner, after 20th Century Fox’s film adaptation of the first novel topped the box office with a $32.5 million opening weekend. The Fever Code will be published in 2016 by Delacorte Press (an imprint of Random House Children’s Books). Pre-production on the movie adaptation of the second book in the dystopian series, The Scorch Trials, has already begun, and the film is set for release in Sept. 2015.

The Maze Runner books run in the same vein as Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games, another successful franchise sprung from a young adult trilogy. A press release explains that the second prequel “delves into the time before the Maze, and will tell the story of how Thomas, Teresa, and the Gladers found themselves in the Maze, and how the Maze itself was created.” [GalleyCat]

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On the Books: Publishing industry lacks diversity, female executives

An annual Publishers Weekly survey of industry employees found that 89 percent of respondents identified as white/caucasian, while 61 percent believe that there is little diversity in publishing. The study found that respondents recognize the direct impact of this racial discrepancy on the industry, agreeing that “[t]he dearth of minority employees directly affects the types of books that are published,” and that to resolve the issue, “there need to be more advocates for books involving people of color throughout the business.”

The survey also re-confirmed the perennial pay gap between men and women in publishing houses, a staggering $25,000 difference— even though women comprise 74 percent of the workforce. Part of this gap is due to unequal pay for similar titles, while part is explained by men’s dominance in higher-salaried management and executive positions. READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Regan Arts to sell virtual-reality viewer kits with books

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Regan Arts is launching its line of hybrid book/technology products on Oct. 28 with The Virtual Reality Beginners Guide and VR Smartphone Toolkit. The kit contains a 40-page book coauthored by TechCrunch writer Frederic Lardinois and DODOcase founder Patrick Buckley—the novelty is the Google-designed viewer it comes with, which readers will use in conjunction with their smartphone to create a virtual-reality headset. “This title is not just a book, it’s an experience,” a press release states.

Regan Arts, a venture between publisher Phaidon and former HarperCollins executive Judith Regan, says the cardboard head-mount and lenses in the kit will provide a “constantly expanding trove of immersive 3-D virtual experiences” to anybody with a smartphone and $25.95 to spend. “For millions, virtual reality is now accessible at a ridiculously low price,” Buckley said. Regan Arts will make iPhone apps available to power the experience. “Books are the oldest version of virtual reality,” says Regan, and The Virtual Reality Beginners Guide will “bring us beyond the book or screen, and past 3D.” [Publishers Weekly]

On Saturday, Hachette sponsored a lunch organized by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) in honor of author James Patterson. Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch’s remarks to the crowd at the Sheraton Hotel in Norfolk, Virginia. The luncheon took place amid the ongoing Hachette-Amazon negotiations, and Pietsch told the crowd (a collection of independent booksellers and authors), “Thank you for your support during this time. In difficult times you find out who your friends are.” He also noted, “Our sales of print books are up over 2013.”

When Patterson took the floor, he spoke to the issue more directly, chanting, “Go Amazon, Go Amazon. And I mean, Go!” to laughter from the crowd. On a more serious note, he asked, “Why can’t we have more American companies who are also ethical about how they do [business]?” [Publishers Weekly]

Brooklyn-based poet Casey Rocheteau, 29, is the first winner of the Write a House Project, an initiative started to encourage writers to live and work in Detroit. In November, Rocheteau will move into her new home in the recently bankrupt city, where she will live and write as its first official writer-in-residence. The property was in foreclosure until the Write a House Project fixed bought and fixed it up with the help of another local nonprofit. After two years, Rocheteau will receive the deed. “I’m thinking of a city that is currently undergoing this regeneration,” the poet says of Detroit. “It’s a city that’s seen a lot and taken a lot of abuse.” [The Los Angeles Times]

The Rona Jaffe Foundation awarded six writers a $30,000 cash prize at their 2014 Writers’ Award ceremonies in New York City last week. The winning authors are Olivia Clare (fiction), Karen Hays (nonfiction), Danielle Jones-Pruett (poetry), T.L. Khleif (fiction), Mara Naselli (nonfiction), and Solmaz Sharif (poetry). [GalleyCat]

On the Books: Nielsen Bookscan reports boom in graphic novel sales

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Americans have bought 5,618,000 graphic novels in 2014, Nielsen Bookscan reports—a 10-percent increase over last year. The rising success of the genre can be attributed to reliable fan favorites (The Walking Dead, Batman and Diary of a Wimpy Kid), the comeback of manga (Attack on Titan, Naruto, and One Piece), and breakout bestsellers like the space opera/fantasy series Saga (Image Comics), which topped lists in both its digital and paper formats. Similarly, Diamond Comics Distributors reports a near 4-percent rise in year-to-date sales and a near 6-percent rise in year-to-date units moved. The graphic novel business, including digital and periodical comics, made more than $870 million in 2013. [Publishers Weekly]

Other news indicating a resurgence in graphic novels is FilmNation Entertainment’s purchase of the film rights to The Undertaking of Lily Chena dark novel about “corpse brides” that “was inspired by an Economist article about the tradition of post-mortem marriage in China.” The New York distributor plans to turn the Danica Novgorodoff work into a Chinese-language movie, reporting it has had success in similar Chinese ventures before. [Mediabistro]

Another bestselling novelist is in the making his enthusiasm for the military known: James Patterson is donating 180,000 of his hardcover books to American troops. “Every day the men and women of our armed forces sacrifice on our behalf. I can’t think of a more deserving group to receive these books.” [USA Today]

On the Books: In-depth Joan Rivers bio announced

Today Little, Brown and Co. publisher Reagan Arthur announced in a press release that it has inked a deal with Vanity Fair veteran Leslie Bennetts for a tell-all biography of the late entertainment icon Joan Rivers. JOAN RIVERS: A Life, set for publication in 2016, “will be the definitive book about Rivers’s tumultuous, victorious, tragic, glamorous, and fascinating life.”

Bennetts is best known for her in-depth profiles of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities from Brad Pitt to Meryl Streep—as well as being “the only reporter ever to evoke tears from Hilary Clinton in an interview.”

The publishing deal, a collaboration between Little, Brown Editor in Chief Judy Clain and Kuhn Projects’ David Kuhn, will also make the book available in ebook format and as an audio book from Hachette Audio.

“Rivers’ career was also enormously significant in American cultural history, breaking down barriers for women in television and comedy and continually redefining the acceptable boundaries of truth-telling for women in public life,” Bennett said. “It’s hard to imagine a more compelling subject for a book—or one that would be more fun.”

The University of Exeter is commemorating the 60th anniversary of the day William Golding’s Lord of the Flies was first published by sharing a handwritten draft of the influential classic with the public. Judy Carver, Golding’s daughter, is loaning the draft of this syllabus staple, and others from the author’s archive, to Exeter on a long-term basis so that scholars, students, and Golding fans everywhere can see into the early stages of a masterpiece in the making. While Carver is adamant that her dad’s work remains well preserved, “we also believe that it’s time for readers to see something of the process that produced these works.” [The Guardian]

Over 50 of Ireland’s finest cake makers will celebrate Roald Dahl day this Saturday, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with artistic confections inspired by the beloved author’s classic children’s books. The cakes include a giant blueberry Violet (the girl who was too greedy for her own good), one of the bald baddies from The Witches, and a life-size Willy Wonka himself. You can see the rest of the creations in a gallery from The Telegraph.

Skinner Inc. will auction off a valuable collection of previously undiscovered letters by iconic Beat writer Jack Kerouac. The pieces—17 letters, two postcards, and seven damaged fragments of letters—will be sold separately, at an estimated $2,000 to $5,000 apiece. [The Los Angeles Times]

Author Stephen King will hit the road Nov. 11 for a book tour to promote his new novel Revival, with stops in New York, Washington D.C., Kansas City, Wichita, Austin, and South Portland. [Mediabistro]

On the Books: Authors United warns Amazon, watch your reputation

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The 1,100 member group Authors United posted a letter of direct appeal to Amazon’s board of directors—urging them to end their book-pricing standoff with publisher Hachette, which has hurt some authors’ book sales.

The letter warns the board that their reputation may be at stake: “[I]f this is how Amazon continues to treat the literary community, how long will the company’s fine reputation last?” The appeal continues, noting similar disputes “have a long and ugly history,” and asking, “Do you, personally, want to be associated with this?” For months, Amazon has delayed shipments of books by Hachette authors and removed the preorder option for those titles in an attempt to force Hachette to lower its e-book prices. [NPR] READ FULL STORY

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