Shelf Life Book news, reviews, trends, and talk

Tag: On the Books (1-10 of 187)

On the Books: Nikki Finke secures book deal with Simon & Schuster

nikki-finke

Simon & Schuster president Johnathan Karp confirmed to The New York Times that Hollywood gossip reporter Nikki Finke has signed a book deal with the publishing house. Karp said he plans to edit the book himself, but declined to share any specifics about the content or release date of the book. “Whenever we publish, the book will be an event,” he said in an email to the Times.

Finke, founder of the gossip website Deadline Hollywood, has been in the line of fire this week—the site NikkiStink.com published an open letter to her, saying she has “threatened and bullied the Hollywood community into providing you information so that you could use it to ridicule, abuse and destroy people.”

Most of the content has now been removed from the site, but it previously cited instances of her incisive written remarks about celebrities from Kate Hudson to Billy Crystal. If her book is as derisive as her gossip reporting, it “will likely be met with dread in movie and television industry circle,” The Times wrote.

Finke also made headlines this week for her involvement in a reported legal dispute with Penske Media Corporation, which in 2009 bought Deadline, which The Times describes as “[one of] the most influential news sites in the movie business.” [The New York Times]

Several Japanese publishers are taking issue with Amazon’s new tactics in their negotiations with them, which are similar to those recently criticized by writers in the U.S. and Germany. According to the Agence France Presse and the Japanese newspaper Asahi, the publishers claim that Amazon is threatening the Japanese publishing industry by pressing for higher commission rates in contract renegotiations. The companies claim that the higher the commission a publishing house pays, the more Amazon will promote their books.

This directly affects book sales in Japan, where Amazon’s market share continues to grow. “Some smaller publishers are facing demands to accept a surge in commission fees,” an anonymous industry source told the AFP. “If this kind of practice continues, small Japanese publishers who have created a diverse publishing culture here will be forced to go bankrupt.” [Business Insider]

Award-winning author Sherman Alexie and bestselling novelist Jess Walter launched a podcast this week, titled “A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment.” Alexie won the U.S. National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2007 for “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” a semi-autobiographical novel. Walter wrote this 2012’s bestselling “Beautiful Ruins. “We’re going to talk about everything,” Alexie told the Los Angeles Times. [L.A. Times]

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

Outlaw-Pete

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.

On the Books: Textbooks will now address significance of Obama election

This week, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill calling for the revision of the state’s history and social science curriculum to include instruction on “the election of President Barack Obama and the significance of the United States electing its first African American President.”

Specifically, the law requires the Calif. Instructional Quality Commission to consider recommending the adoption of the requirement to the state board. The bill has been tacked on to the state’s Education Code, meaning that the historical and social gravity of Obama’s landmark 2008 election could soon become required reading in school textbooks statewide. READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Soccer star Tim Howard scores book deal

American soccer star and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard will release a memoir via HarperCollins on Dec. 9. According to a publisher’s statement, The Keeper will include details about both Howard’s professional career and personal life, notably his struggle with Tourette syndrome. Earlier this summer, Howard drew fanfare playing for the U.S. at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, saving a record 16 goals in a game against Belgium. (The U.S. lost 2-1.) The book will be published in both an adult and young-adult version. [The Guardian]

In other soccer-related book news, Zaha Hadid, the notable British-Iraqi architect who designed a stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, is suing the New York Review of Books for defamation and libel. Hadid charges that architecture critic Martin Filler’s review of the book Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture, by Rowan Moore, takes her words out of context to portray her as “showing no concern” for the nearly 1,000 migrant workers who have died while constructing stadiums in Qatar—a scandal originally uncovered by The Guardian. The complaint also alleges that construction has not begun on the stadium that Hadid designed. Hadid’s lawyer, Oren Warshavsky, stated that the review, published in June, is “a personal attack disguised as a book review and has exposed Ms. Hadid to public ridicule and contempt.” Hadid is seeking a retraction and damages. [The Guardian]

Former Meet the Press host David Gregory, who was abruptly booted by NBC last week, is writing a book about his personal experience with Judaism, to be published by Simon & Schuster. “The book was never intended as a memoir about his career,” says Simon & Schuster president Jonathan Karp, who has been in talks with Gregory to write a book for several years. “That objective hasn’t changed and will not change,” he continued. “This book will be about the inner spiritual journey many of us take in our lives.” A release date has not yet been announced. [NPR]

 

 

 

On the Books: Orwell estate swings back at Amazon

Bill Hamilton, literary executor of George Orwell’s estate, penned a scathing letter to the editor  in yesterday’s New York Times criticizing Amazon’s misrepresentation of the author in a message the online giant posted on ReadersUnited.com last week. The letter was intended to defend Amazon’s position in its ongoing conflict with publisher Hachette over e-book prices, but Amazon’s choice of words has backfired in an ironic way.

In comparing its current e-book pricing standoff to the resistance Penguin Books faced with the introduction of inexpensive paperback books in the 1930s, Amazon quoted George Orwell “out of context as supporting a campaign to suppress paperbacks,” Hamilton wrote. Hamilton likened Amazon’s subversion of the truth to the propaganda tactics employed by the authoritarian government in Orwell’s famed dystopian novel, 1984.

This is about as close as one can get to the Ministry of Truth and its doublespeak: turning the facts inside out to get a piece of propaganda across,” wrote Hamilton. “It doesn’t say much for Amazon’s regard for truth, or its powers of literary understanding. [NPR] READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Christian bookseller pulls celebrity pastor's titles

The nation’s second-largest Christian-book retailer, LifeWay, has removed from its shelves and website all works by prominent pastor Mark Driscoll. The decision follows last week’s announcement of Driscoll’s ousting from the Acts 29 church-planting network he co-founded.

The pastor has long been extremely polarizing, with The New York Times Magazine calling him, in a 2009 article, “one of the most admired—and reviled—figures among evangelicals nationwide.” In the announcement of its decision to expel Driscoll, Acts 29 cited his “ungodly and disqualifying behavior,” referring to purported profane language in the pastor’s sermons as well as homophobic and sexist statements he made in an online chatroom under a pseudonym.

Last year, Tyndale House Publishers investigated Driscoll after radio host Janet Mefferd accused him of plagiarism in his 2013 book, A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future? (Tyndale concluded he was innocent.) In March, Driscoll admitted to artificially inflating book sales in a letter he posted on Reddit.

LifeWay said in a statement that, prior to the announcement, A Call to Resurgence was the only Driscoll title being sold in its 180-plus stores across the U.S. [NPR]

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin told audiences at this week’s Edinburgh International Book Festival that he’s doing his best to keep up with the fast-paced HBO serial adaptation of the dense book series, but that ultimately the issue is out of his hands. “I can only write one word at a time,” Martin said. “I just have to worry about telling the stories as best I can.” HBO just began production on the fifth season, while the notoriously slow-working Martin is not expected to finish the remaining two books for several years. Martin also admitted that accurate theories about the series’ ending are floating around online, so any fans wanting a spoiler should simply read everything that has been written about the show.  [The Guardian]

Little, Brown and Company announced plans for the U.S. release of a tell-all memoir by Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi next year. Slahi has been in U.S. custody at Guantanamo since being detained by the CIA as a terrorist suspect in 2001, but he has never been charged with a crime. He is a central figure in the ongoing dispute over the ethics and politics of the U.S.’s detention of suspected terrorists without due process. The book will detail the torture, isolation, and humiliation that Slahi, who hand-wrote the book after learning English by conversing with the guards, says he has experienced in captivity. The much-anticipated release announcement comes after years of efforts by his lawyers to have the book’s highly sensitive manuscript declassified. [The Los Angeles Times]

On the Books: Hachette-Perseus deal falls through

Perseus.jpg

Hachette and Ingram have called off plans to acquire the Perseus Books Group. Despite efforts from all three players, an agreement could not be reached in order to finalize the transaction. CEO David Steinberger said that Perseus had a strong fiscal year. When questioned about a possible deal in the future, he said, “When you are a successful company you get offers.” [Publishers Weekly]

The Guardian released the longlist for their first book award. The list includes five non-fiction and five fiction entries, as well as one readers’ choice, May-Lan Tan’s Things to Make and Break. The judging panel will feature novelist Ann Enright and psychotherapist Josh Cohen, with the winner of the £10,000 award announced at the end of November. [The Guardian]

Jim Frederick, a former foreign correspondent and editor, died Friday at the age of 42. His 2010 book Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent Into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death was widely regarded for its thorough, unflinching reporting of the lives of American soldiers in Iraq. The cause of his death was cardiac arrhythmia. [The New York Times]

READ FULL STORY

On the Books: HarperCollins to cut offending passage from 'American Sniper'

HarperCollins is removing the passage that won Jesse Ventura a $1.8 million defamation lawsuit against the estate of author and former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Ventura said that, in American Sniper, Kyle quoted him saying the SEALs “deserved to lose a few.” HarperCollins didn’t say how it would be removing the passage, or if it will modify already-purchased ebooks. [ABC News/The Associated Press]

Lois Lowry talks about writing sequels for The Giver, how young adult literature has changed, and the long process of adapting the book to film. “I remember seeing the costume designs for the female lead, Fiona—in the book she’s 12, and in the movie she’s 16. I advised them that some of the costumes were too sexy. And so the hem was dropped a little bit. I asked them: ‘Please don’t turn this into a teenage romance.'” [The New York Times Magazine] READ FULL STORY

On the Books: American authors land on Booker Prize longlist

Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler, Siri Hustvedt, and Richard Powers are the Americans who made this year’s Man Booker Prize longlist. For the first time, Britain’s most prestigious literary award is open to authors in the U.S., as long as the books are also published in Britain. The list is male-dominated: only three of its 13 writers are women. The toast of America’s literary establishment last year, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, was snubbed. Last year, 28-year-old author Eleanor Catton won for her 800-page novel The Luminaries. A shortlist will be announced on September 9th, and the winner on October 14th. [The New York Times]

In Amazon news, vice president of Kindle Content Russ Grandinetti has asked authors to stop complaining about the company. A group of authors—including Lee Child, Stephen King, John Grisham, and James Patterson—are planning to publish a full-page ad in The New York Times explaining why they are siding against Amazon in the Amazon-Hachette dispute. Grandinetti asked the group to stop publication of the ad, and proposed a plan where Amazon to stock Hachette titles and give authors standard royalties on ebooks. While Amazon and Hachette continue to negotiate among themselves, the proceeds each company normally earns would go to a literacy charity. [Publishers Weekly] READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Anti-Clinton book leaked to media under mysterious circumstances

The upcoming book Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine had a well-prepared rollout in advance of its July 22nd release, including a splashy interview on The O’Reilly Factor. But over the weekend, writes The Daily Beast, “a prolific but mysterious rogue distributor who somehow got a copy of Halper’s book and blasted out a series of mass-media emails containing PDFs—or portable document formats—of the entire 317-page, 12-chapter volume.” The book is by Daniel Halper, an editor of the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard. No one’s sure how the leak happened, and it’s uncertain if the blame should go to hardcore Clinton supporters or right-wing Clinton-haters. [The Daily Beast]

Those Dungeons & Dragons nerds you mocked in middle school are busy becoming the greatest writers of our age. Everyone from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire to Atlantic editor Scott Stossel credit the game for developing their storytelling skills. “It’s been a formative narrative media for all sorts of writers,” said Junot Díaz. [The New York Times] READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos in Books

Advertisement

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP