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Tag: On the Books (1-10 of 211)

On the Books: Daniel Handler donating $110k to 'We Need Diverse Books' campaign

- 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 conversation to focus on my behavior instead of great books. So can we do this?… Let’s donate to to … 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.

- A new e-content partnership between HarperCollin Publishers and JetBlue is taking flight on Nov. 26—the day before Thanksgiving, and a notoriously busy travel day. Fly-Fi Hub, JetBlue’s new inflight Wi-Fi program, will offer passengers excerpts from HarperCollins’ current bestsellers, with the option to purchase the full ebook. The selection of titles will fluctuate with book sales; the first batch of samples will include Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton’s Endgame: The Calling. [Publishers Weekly]

- CBS Films has hired a new screenwriter for the film adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Alvin Schwartz’s classic series of terrifying tales. John August (Big Fish, Frankenweenie) will write the script based on the three bestsellers, written by Schwartz and memorably illustrated by Stephen Gammell: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1981), More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1984), and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones (1991). August, who frequently works with Tim Burton, “is going back to the source material for his take,” Deadline reports. No director is attached yet.

- Coffee House Press’ founding publisher Allan Kornblum died of complications from leukemia on Sunday at the age of 65. Kornblum was “one of the leaders of the small press movement that emerged out of the 1960s-era passions for social change,” Publishers Weekly writes in its obituary. He established Coffee House as a nonprofit independent publisher in 1984. Under his guidance, Coffee House became one of the most highly regarded small American presses—a nurturer of literary talent and a supporter of authors of color, most notably Asian Americans. A number of critically acclaimed and award winning works have emerged from Coffee House, including Somewhere Else by Matthew Shenoda (2006), Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith (2008), and Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner (2011). Kornblum’s successor, Chris Fischbach, released a statement on the publisher’s website, which is excerpted below.

For 42 years he championed new voices and new publishers and fought tirelessly to get them the attention they deserve. It was a lifetime of service not only to literature but also to the field of publishing, of which he was a devoted scholar. Whether it was choosing just the right font, navigating the changing marketplace of bookselling, or understanding the historical pattern of the changes in printing technology, his wisdom and devotion were unmatched. [Publishers Weekly]

On the Books: Beach Boy Mike Love inks a memoir deal

- 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]

On the Books: Bidding for 'Psycho' typewriter starts at $25K

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.

 

On the Books: Whoopi Goldberg penning a book about the 'downsides of marriage'

- 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!!!”

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On the Books: Ellen DeGeneres is writing an interior decorating guide

- 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 (LostThe 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 HourThe 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]

On the Books: Insider Prince Charles bio coming next year

- 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

On the Books: Product placement comes to ebooks

find-me-im-yours

- It’s a fact of the modern world that product placement is everywhere. Books, however, were always sacred in that regard, untainted by commercial messaging: a slice of media we could consume without being not-so-subtly persuaded to consume something else, too. That assumption was upended yesterday with the release of Find Me, I’m Yours by Hillary Carlip—a new ebook and sponsored-content vehicle from RosettaBooks. Take the following scene from the romance/comedy novel, as retold by The New York Times, in which a character named Mags is made fun of by her coworker for using the artificial sweetener Sweet’N Low to sweeten her cup of joe.

“Hellooo, isn’t it bad for you?” the friend asks. Mags replies that she has researched the claims online and found studies showing that the product is safe: “They fed lab rats twenty-five hundred packets of Sweet’N Low a day … And still the F.D.A. or E.P.A., or whatevs agency, couldn’t connect the dots from any kind of cancer in humans to my party in a packet.” READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Pulitzer-winning poet Galway Kinnell dies at 87

- Renowned American poet Galway Kinnell died of leukemia last week at the age of 87. Kinnell received numerous accolades throughout his career, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for 1982’s Selected Poems—as well as a MacArthur genius grant, a poet laureateship in Vermont, a chancellorship at the American Academy of Poets, and, most recently, the 2010 Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement. The World War II vet, anti-Vietnam War activist, and civil rights champion infused his verse with the gritty social issues pervading the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. The Los Angeles Times writes that the Kinnell is celebrated for his “forceful, spiritual takes on the outsiders and underside of contemporary life,” and how he “blended the physical and the philosophical, not shying from the most tactile and jarring details of humans and nature.” His work reflects the influence that Walt Whitman and  friend W.S. Merwin had on him. Kinnell—who also taught at New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Reed College before retiring in 2011—is survived by his wife, two children from a former marriage, and two grandchildren.

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On the Books: Barnes & Noble reverses decision to close Bronx store

- Barnes & Noble has reversed this week’s decision to close its Bronx branch, the only major bookstore in the neighborhood. Borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. led the fiery local campaign to keep the shop open, brokering a compromise between B&N and the the property’s landlord. Mr. Diaz told the crowd at a press conference yesterday that “this is more thatn just a bookstore… This is where kids read and broaden their minds and do their homework.” [The New York Times]

- The first-ever Kirkus Prize-winning authors were announced in Austin, Tex. last night. Writers Lily King, Roz Chast, and Kate Samworth took home the brand-new $50,000 prizes in the fiction, nonfiction and young readers categories, respectively. King’s novel Euphoria, the story of three intertwined rival anthropologists, stood out “for its perfect construction, its economy and originality, and its fearlessness.” Chast, a cartoonist for The New Yorker, won for her illustrated memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, the story of the last few years of her parents’ lives—also up for a National Book Award later this year. Samworth’s Aviary Wonders Inc. is a a strange, funny, dark young adult tale about a world where birds are extinct. [NPR] READ FULL STORY

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]

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