First it was Ron and Hermione, now Aragorn and Arwen?? A previously unpublished letter reveals the tricksy W.H. Auden tried to convince J.R.R. Tolkien to axe the romance between Aragorn and Arwen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The illuminating letter is from 1955 and penned by Tolkien, who is complaining to his publisher about the struggle to complete The Return of the King. Tolkien laments that Auden views the star-crossed subplot between the mortal king and his immortal lover as “unnecessary and perfunctory.” Wow. Shoot me straight, Auden. How do you really feel? Apparently the poet was on Team Éowyn-Faramir. Considering the level of minutia that Tolkien weaves into the historical fabric of Middle Earth, you would think LOTR could support a number of love stories. If I know the second cousin, twice-removed of every dwarf in the Shire, I think I can follow two romantic subplots. I guess Auden was a purist though. One story of true love per series. It’s good to have standards. Thank God Tolkien didn’t take his advice. [The Guardian] READ FULL STORY
Tag: Publishing Biz (21-30 of 124)
You read that right. Apparently the nation’s capital is the most literate city in America for the fourth year in a row. News to me. I thought everyone in DC was on the phone with donors all day. The study was conducted by Central Connecticut State University, and it takes into account the number of bookstores, library resources, Internet use, educational levels and newspaper circulation of 77 of the largest cities in America. And coming in at 77th is Bakersfield, CA. Poor Bakersfield. They also took the gold medal in worst air quality in 2013. Let’s show them some love in 2014 please. [USA Today]
Today the Folio Society announced its shortlist of nominees for their inaugural Folio Prize, which honors English-language fiction from around the world that is published in the UK, regardless of form, genre or the author’s country of origin. The prize is £40,000 and a ticket to the “glittering ceremony at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel.” Sounds like luxury! The authors in the running are Anne Carson, Amity Gaige, Jane Gardam, Kent Haruf, Rachel Kushner, Eimear McBride, Sergio De La Pava, and George Saunders. The biggest surprise is the heavy representation of Americans, who make up five of the eight nominees. Saunders was listed for his latest short-story collection Tenth of December. [Folio Prize]
Great news from Dreamworks this morning. The studio is opening a book publishing unit that will put out titles based on their animated films, like Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda. The books will be available in print and digital formats, which is great, but I hope that they offer audiobooks of Madagascar read by the lemurs. Or better yet, classics read by the lemurs. Tuck Everlasting would be so much easier to choke down if it were read by the lemurs. [Wall Street Journal]
Brandon Mull, author of the New York Times best-selling fantasy series Fablehaven and Beyonders, has released the art for the newest book in his Five Kingdoms series — and EW has your first exclusive look at the cover. Though The Rogue Knight isn’t due out until October, and though Mull has been tight-lipped about information surrounding its plot, readers can get a glimpse at what they might be able to expect: our heroes facing off against a formidable force, possibly the Rogue Knight himself. And it’s safe to say that it looks like their journey home might get a little harder.
Sky Raiders, the first book in Mull’s Five Kingdom series, will debut on March 11. The novel introduces the character of Cole Randolph, an unsuspecting kid just trying to have fun with his friends on Halloween. Instead, after watching his friends disappear through a portal in a Haunted House, he himself gets transported to a place called The Outskirts. The Outskirts house five kingdoms, all of which are in-between places between life and death. With the help of his new friend Mira, Cole must figure out how to rescue his friends and get himself home – before it’s too late.
Do you like the cover for The Rogue Knight? Are you excited for the debut of Mull’s new series? Whet your appetite by checking out a trailer, also exclusive, for Sky Raiders below — and let us know what you think!
The most exciting book news today? Film and television star B.J. Novak has partnered with Penguin Young Readers Group to publish a new picture book called (wait for it) The Book With No Pictures. As the title implies, the children’s book will be text-only, designed to provide children with a more enthralling reading experience.
Before you start shaking your head with confusion, let Novak explain: “I wanted to write a book that would introduce the youngest of kids to the idea that words can be their allies — that the right words can be as fun, exciting, and ridiculous as any pictures,” the actor said in a statement released by his publishing company. “Also, I can’t draw.”
The Book With No Pictures, which will be published in the fall of 2014, is the first of two books that Novak will release with Dial, an imprint of Penguin Young Reader’s Group.
More book news below!
Harlequin announced today that it has secured the rights to a memoir penned by transgender actress Laverne Cox, who shot to fame this year in Netflix’s hit original series, Orange is the New Black. The book, which hits shelves in 2015, will describe Cox’s personal journey growing up transgender and how she overcame the personal obstacles in her life to become not only an acclaimed actress, but a popular advocate for LGBTQ organizations.
Cox made history when she became the first African-American transgender woman to appear on an American reality show, VH1′s I Want To Work For Diddy. She also produced another VH1 program, TRANSform Me, and starred in a number of small films before landing her breakout role of Sophia Burset in Orange Is the New Black.
“Laverne Cox is a powerful, accomplished actress and a beacon of hope to countless people of all ages around the world. The story of her life to this point is nothing short of an inspiration,” said editor Rebecca Hunt in a press release.
Watch Cox eloquently respond to an invasive question from Katie Couric about transgender people’s bodies here.
The wife of Jeff Bezos is giving a thumbs-down to a recent book about her husband’s company, Amazon.com Inc.
On Monday, MacKenzie Bezos posted a one-star review on the Amazon page for Brad Stone’s The Everything Store, which came out last month and has been received positively by critics and Amazon readers. Bezos wrote that the book was filled with inaccuracies and biased against her husband and Amazon. Spokeswoman Sarah Gelman of Seattle-based Amazon confirmed that the review was indeed written by MacKenzie Bezos.
“While numerous factual inaccuracies are certainly troubling in a book being promoted to readers as a meticulously researched definitive history, they are not the biggest problem here,” Bezos wrote. “The book is also full of techniques which stretch the boundaries of non-fiction, and the result is a lopsided and misleading portrait of the people and culture at Amazon.”
Stone, who authored the book, is a senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek. As of Monday evening, his book ranked No. 109 on Amazon’s best seller list. The Everything Store is being billed as a rare look inside a “corporate culture of relentless ambition and secrecy,” a portrait Bezos is strongly disputing.
Two of the three women held captive for a decade in a Cleveland house are collaborating with a Pulitzer Prize-winning team of Washington Post reporters for a planned book about their ordeal.
In a statement issued Monday to The Associated Press, an attorney for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus said they will work with the Post‘s Mary Jordan, a Cleveland native, and her husband and fellow reporter, Kevin Sullivan. No meetings with publishers have been scheduled, although interest would likely be based on the popularity of another kidnapping survivor’s memoir, Jaycee Dugard’s A Stolen Life.
Negotiations for the book will be handled by Washington-based attorney Robert Barnett, whose clients have included President Barack Obama and Amanda Knox.
“Many have told, and continue to tell, this story in ways that are both inaccurate and beyond the control of these young women,” said James Wooley, the attorney for Berry and DeJesus. “Our clients have a strong desire for privacy, but it is a reality that confronts them every day. Gina, Amanda, and their families have decided to take control and are now interested in telling the story of what happened to them.”
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Demi Lovato’s next stage will be on the page.
The singer-actress has agreed to a multi-book deal with Feiwel and Friends. The publisher, an imprint of Macmillan, announced the deal Monday.
The first book features tweets she had written about her life. It’s called Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year and comes out in November.
Lovato also plans a memoir. The 21-year-old superstar has openly struggled with drug addiction and other personal troubles, some of which she has described on Twitter.
The reporter central to revealing the massive U.S. government surveillance efforts has a book deal.
The Guardian‘s Glenn Greenwald signed with Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Macmillan, for a book to be published in March. Metropolitan announced Thursday that the book would include additional material on government operations and its “extraordinary cooperation” with private companies.
Greenwald is a journalist and commentator for the Guardian whose reports have been based on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Greenwald has written three books in which he argues the government trampled on personal rights in the name of national security.
Another reporter who has broken news based on documents from Snowden, Barton Gellman of The Washington Post, has a book deal with an imprint of Penguin Group.
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