Amazon is jumping on New York’s same-day-delivery bandwagon with Prime Now, a new service promising one-hour delivery of a number of products to Prime members in Manhattan. From 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. every day of the week, customers can order through the Prime Now mobile app—opting for one-hour delivery at the price of $7.99 or two-hour delivery for free. The orders will be filled at Amazon’s new center at 34th street, its first brick-and-mortar retail location. “There are times when you can’t make it to the store and other times when you simply don’t want to go,” said Amazon’s SVP of worldwide operations, Dave Clark. “There are so many reasons to skip the trip and now Prime members in Manhattan can get the items they need delivered in an hour or less.” The service is only available to Manhattanites for now, but Amazon expects to roll out Prime Now in other cities next year. [GalleyCat]
Tag: On the Books (1-10 of 215)
A new short story by Philip Pullman returns readers to the world of the classic His Dark Materials trilogy for the first time in six years. Pullman wrote “The Collectors” for exclusive digital distribution by audiobook publisher Audible—available in the U.K. this week, and out in the U.S. in January. Set at his alternate version of Oxford, the story follows the early life of Pullman’s villain Mrs. Coulter. The author last visited the fictional world in his novella Once Upon a Time in the North.
Pullman may be using old characters, but writing “The Collectors” was a new experience for him. “I find it very difficult as a form,” the author said of short story writing. “With a novel you can sprawl out, go down blind alleys—it’s a much bigger, looser thing. With a short story, you have to be tight.” [The Guardian]
-The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd topped the 2014 Amazon bestsellers list, which the e-giant released this morning. The selection is composed of the frontlist titles published in 2014 that moved the most copies, including both ebook and print edition purchases. John Grisham’s Gray Mountain nabbed second place, followed by Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See—also the most wished for book this year. Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher novel, Twenty Seconds Ago and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies rounded out the overall top five. The Heroes of Olympus Book Five: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan was the number one bestselling kids/teen book, and the children’s hit Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney was most-gifted overall. [Publishers Weekly]
- Since its 1966 debut, Truman Capote’s chilling true-crime classic In Cold Blood has been regarded as the original “nonfiction novel”—a revelation in literature that combined the factuality of journalism with the literary finesse of fiction. But a recent claim made by the son of the man who investigated the real-life murder case indicates that Capote may have taken more artistic license in writing the account than previously thought. READ FULL STORY
- Author Daniel Handler, better known by his pen name Lemony Snicket, announced his donation of a huge sum of money to the We Need Diverse Books Indiegogo campaign after apologizing for racially offensive comments he made while hosting the National Book Awards last week. Handler promised a $10,000 donation to the organization in a series of tweets—plus matching funds for donations made in the following 24 hours, up to $100,000. After apologizing for his “monstrously inappropriate” and “racist“ comments on Twitter, Handler wrote: “It would be heartbreaking for the
#NBAwards conversation to focus on my behavior instead of great books. So can we do this?… Let’s donate to #WeNeedDiverseBooks to #CelebrateJackie… Brown Girl Dreaming is an amazing novel and we need more voices like Jacqueline Woodson.” Handler’s $100k pledge did not go unnoticed—donors rallied and amassed the funds within 24 hours. READ FULL STORY
- Beach Boys founding member Mike Love, 73, has inked a book deal with Penguin Random House imprint Blue Rider Press. Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy will hit shelves in the summer (when else?) of 2016, the Associated Press reports. “I’ve had an incredible life with a lot of triumphs, my share of heartbreak and some pretty amazing experiences,” the “Surfin’ U.S.A.” singer said in a statement issued by Blue Rider. “There are a lot of things I haven’t shared before, and I’m looking forward to opening up about my life and my work in this book.”
In Good Vibrations, Love will open up about the times he didn’t vibe so well with cousin and Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson—the two conflicted over creative issues and songwriting credits. Biographer James S. Hirsch, who has penned books about baseball player Willie Mays and boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, will help Love write the book. [Associated Press via Yahoo! News]
Check out a video clip of Love and his fellow Beach Boys performing their biggest hit on The Dick Clark Show, below.
- The Oxford University Press must be feeling some of those good vibes too—”vape” is officially the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year. Oxford Dictionaries defines the word on its official blog as “an abbreviation of vapour or vaporize… the verb means ‘to inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device,’ while both the device and the action can also be known as a vape.” Casper Grathwohl, president of the Oxford’s Dictionaries Division, said that “This year ‘vape’ also served as an insightful window onto how we define ourselves,” reports NPR.
The blog announcement also explains that “vape” was chosen for its rapid proliferation in the English language in 2014: “You are 30 times more likely to come across the word vape than you were two years ago, and usage has more than doubled in the past year.” The trending verb joins the words “overshare” and “photobomb,” the Chamers Dictionary and the Collins English Dictionary’s words of the year, respectively.
- Ebook subscription service Oyster is launching its own online literary journal called The Oyster Review, “a modern literary magazine about a life well read.” The journal will publish original essays, humor pieces, book reviews and interviews about the best reads available—from publishers big and small, and authors past and present. Oyster seeks to tackle what editorial director Kevin Nguyen terms “the dilemma of the modern reader,” our ever-growing to-read lists, by curating the best reads for ambitious bookworms. “Think of it as a field guide to a life well read, a place of literary exploration and discovery… Here at Oyster, we believe the best book discoveries come from reading outside of your comfort zone.” An advisory board comprised of novelist Megan Abbott (The Fever), scholar and writer Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist), and YA author Lauren Oliver (the Delirium trilogy) will serve as a liaison between Oyster and the writers they publish. [Publishers Weekly]
Junky old typewriters aren’t typically worth a fortune—unless the screenplay for a Hollywood classic like Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho was written on it. The 1959 faded green Olympia that Joseph Stefano used to adapt Robert Bloch’s novel into the screenplay for Psycho is going up for auction on Nov. 20—and the bidding starts at an exorbitant $25,000. At least it’s still fully functional, according to the lot description.
Psycho went on to win four Oscars and carve out a place in movie history with its iconic shower murder scene. Stefano’s most notable change from the novel was his decision to begin the movie with Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane, instead of killer Norman Bates. In doing so, “Stefano changed the drift of the audience’s affections, and changed film history in the process: it was the first time a leading lady had been murdered within the first 20 minutes of a movie,” writes The Telegraph.
British comedian Eddie Izzard is writing a memoir to be published by Blue Rider Press (a Penguin Group imprint) in Winter 2015-2016. The book will document his journey from performing on the streets of London to selling out standup tours and appearing in films like Ocean’s 12, Ocean’s 13 and Across the Universe. “Eddie Izzard’s brilliant, and brilliantly funny, narrative style lends itself perfectly to the printed page,” said Executive Editor Sarah Hochman. [GalleyCat]
Barnes & Noble has created B&N Sync Up, a program that will allow customers to buy the digital editions of select titles for $4.99 each after purchasing the print editions. The company has also expanded the services it provides to self-published authors. Nook Press Print Service will allow authors to “create their own print books and have them shipped to an author’s home about one week after placing an order,” reports Publishers Weekly.
- Hachette has acquired a “provocative, witty, and heartfelt book on the downsides of marriage” by the thrice-married actress and The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg, according to a press release from Tuesday. In the untitled book, set to be published in hardcover, ebook, and audio versions in September 2015, the personality “will speak openly, and with her trademark wit and wisdom about why marriage isn’t for everyone, how being alone can be satisfying, and how what’s ultimately most important is understanding who you are and what in life makes you happy.”
Goldberg is one of the few celebrities in the prestigious “EGOT” club—having won an Emmy, Golden Globe (twice), Oscar, and Tony over the course of her three-decade career. The winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is also the author of children’s Sugar Plum Ballerinas series, as well as Is It Just Me?, her humorous take on the decline of modern society.
She said in the press release: “I get to hear from a lot of different people about relationships and this got me trying to figure out why the divorce rate is SO high. It occurred to me that as one who has done it badly often, I might have some insight into why a person might not put her best foot forward in a relationship… It’s hard to really know the other person’s agenda, but if someone says ‘you complete me’…RUN!!!”
- Ellen DeGeneres is writing an interior decor book called HOME that will help readers “create the homes of their dreams,” according to a press release from publisher Grand Central Life & Style (an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette). “A lot of people don’t know that I have a passion for interior design, so I’m excited to be releasing this book,” said DeGeneres, who has renovated 12 properties before. “I’m inspired by art and nature and architecture. Now everybody can see how things come together inside my home and in some of my favorite places.”
The talk show host has a slew of other home decor-related projects leading up to the book’s release in fall 2015. She recently debuted her line of home goods on QVC; Ellen’s Design Challenge will premiere on HGTV in January; and her lifestyle brand E.D. will launch with an e-commerce site in the spring. DeGeneres has written three books of life experiences and humorous observations, all of which debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list. This year, she hosted the Academy Awards for a second time, where she took the memorable star-studded selfie that broke Twitter records.
- Another famous woman has a different sort of literary venture in the works. Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit) Kickstarted a campaign to raise money for First Book, a nonprofit that brings books and digital resources to children in need in the U.S. and Canada, via Prizeo. Rewards for donations include copies and memorabilia of her forthcoming children’s book The Squickerwonkers, out Nov. 18. One winner will accompany Lilly to the world premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in London next month. [GalleyCat]
- Lilly ought to consider giving author Joshua Ferris a call—he won the £30,000 Dylan Thomas Prize last week for his novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. The Guardian describes the winning title as a funny yet serious read, “in which dentistry, baseball and existential dread combine with contemporary New York, unlikely Old Testament peoples and the modern malaise of being emotionally disconnected in a hyper-connected age.” Among Ferris’ competition for the fiction award were Eleanor Catton. (The Luminaries) and Eimear McBride (A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing).
- PBS announced plans to livestream three days of the Miami Book Fair International, the annual weeklong fest beginning Nov. 16. The fest, expecting over 200,000 attendees, will feature over 500 authors and special guests—including YA author Judy Blume, novelist Emma Straub (The Vacationers) and musician Questlove of The Roots. Executive producer of the PBS livestream Rich Fahle said the book industry hasn’t been “aggressive about creating a media opportunity around their business,” adding that the fair is “an amazing collection of people and stories in one place.” [The New York Times]
- Henry Holt and Company has inked a deal to buy Time magazine editor-at-large Catherine Mayer’s new biography of longtime heir-apparent Charles, Prince of Wales. Mayer spent a year doing research for Born to Be King: Prince Charles on Planet Windsor, spending time with friends of Charles, palace insiders and the royal himself. The book will be slightly pared down from the U.K./international edition from WH Allen. Born to Be King “reveals Prince Charles in all his complexity,” according to Holt, giving “fresh and fascinating insights into the first marriage that did so much to define him”—with Princess Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997, as well as his current wife, Duchess Camilla. The biography is set to be published in February 2015. [Publishers Weekly] READ FULL STORY
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