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News Feed of the ten most recent book-related news stories from Bookbrowse.
Updated: 39 min ago

Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning NY Times columnist and humorist, dies at 93

8 hours 17 min ago
Russell Baker, the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose whimsical, irreverent "Observer" column appeared in The New York Times and hundreds of other newspapers for 36 years and turned a backwoods-born Virginian into one of America's most celebrated writers, died on Monday at his home in Leesburg, Va. He was 93.

Sam Savage, author of Firmin, dies aged 78

8 hours 32 min ago
Author Sam Savage, whose first novel, Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife, was published when he was 65 and went on to become an international bestseller, has died aged 78. His publisher, Coffee House Press, said, "As we celebrate Sam's life and work, the staff of Coffee House Press joins Sam's family and readers in mourning the loss of a remarkable author and friend, and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to publish his work and for his friendship."

Paranormal romance author, Sherrilyn Kenyon, accuses her husband of a ?Shakespearean plot? to poison her

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 11:39
... In late 2014, it became a labor for the author to breathe and walk. Her teeth putrefied. Her hair fell out in clumps. She endured tremors, stomach cramps, facial swelling and vertigo. There was an unmistakable taste of metal in her mouth.

"Again, as many of you know, one of the reasons I had to cut back on my appearances and stop doing my annual fan convention a couple of years ago was that out of the blue I was viciously and painfully struck down by a bevy of strange, inexplicable and baffling symptoms," the author, whose works of paranormal romance and urban fantasy have been New York Times bestsellers, told her fans in a newsletter this month.

At first, doctors were stumped by her condition, she explained. But she said a new round of tests last year pointed to a disquieting cause: "Someone close to me was tainting my food." ...

The terrible celebrity biographies of Amazon, not explained

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 11:36
Writing in Vox, Kaitlyn Tiffany dives deep into Amazon Publishing, focusing on "the terrible celebrity biographies of Amazon, not explained"...

It's a unique sort of suffering to be enamored of a celebrity ' - particularly if that celebrity has had no books written by or about them to provide an in-depth look at their glamorous and complicated life.

That is sort of the short explanation for how I came to purchase, two years ago, a Kindle-only book called Celebrity Biographies ' - The Amazing Life of Jake Gyllenhaal, written by an author named Matt Green, retailing for $2.99 and beginning with the sentence, "Jacob Benjamin or Jake Gyllenhaal is an American actor."

The book contains many other beautiful sentences, most of which make much less sense than the first...

Gov. Ricketts of Nebraska refuses to endorse "This Blessed Earth" for "One Book One Nebraska" literary celebration

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 10:59
Gov. Ricketts has broken with a 15-year tradition and refused to endorse This Blessed Earth by Ted Genoways (who went to high school and college in Nebraska) for an annual statewide literary celebration called One Book One Nebraska. Gov. Ricketts admits that he made this decision without having read the nonfiction book which focuses on a struggling Nebraskan farm family. Ricketts says that Genoways is "a political activist ... who is out-of-touch, and it was not going to be something that united Nebraska."

Mary Oliver, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who found solace in nature, dies at 83

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 10:51
Mary Oliver, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose lyrical descriptions of the lamp-eyed owl, the white-toothed bear and the lilies by the pond evoked natural wonders with a startling clarity of vision, while suggesting that life was a matter of learning to love the world even in the face of ugliness and pain, died Jan. 17 at her home in Hobe Sound, Fla. She was 83.

Stephen King persuades newspaper not to scrap its book reviews

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 14:35
The Portland Press Herald, based in Stephen King's home state of Maine, had decided to stop running reviews of local books.

After King expressed dismay, the paper challenged him to get 100 followers to buy digital subscriptions.

His fans did not disappoint him, prompting the paper to pledge that "book reviews will return."

Francine du Plessix Gray, searching novelist and journalist, Is dead at 88

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 12:02
Francine du Plessix Gray, a French-American writer who, in her novels and journalism, explored the complexities of cultural identity, the obstacles confronting women seeking their place in the world and her own privileged but anguished early life, died on Sunday in Manhattan. She was 88.

Authors Guild report finds author earnings continue to decline

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 15:41
In what the Authors Guild is calling the "largest survey of U.S. professional writers ever conducted," the organization reports the median income published American authors received for all writing-related activity in 2017 was $6,080 in 2017, down from $10,500 in the guild's 2009 survey. The survey further found that the median income for specifically book-related income for published authors declined 21%, to $3,100, in 2017 from $3,900 in 2013 and just over 50% from 2009's median book earnings of $6,250....

Lin-Manuel Miranda & partners buy NYC's Drama Book Shop

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 14:17
Lin-Manuel Miranda and three of his Hamilton collaborators have purchased New York City's beloved Drama Book Shop, which had celebrated its 100th birthday last year but announced in the fall it would close this month because of a large rent increase...

They bought the store from Rozanne Seelen, whose husband, the late Arthur Seelen, had acquired it in 1958. She "sold it for the cost of the remaining inventory, some rent support in the store's final weeks, and a pledge to retain her as a consultant," the Times wrote.

Future bookseller Lin-Manuel Miranda "It's the chronic problem--the rents were just too high, and I'm 84 years old--I just didn't have the drive to find a new space and make another move," she said. "Lin-Manuel and Tommy are my white knights."

Sally Rooney, 27, becomes youngest author to win the Costa Novel Award

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 05:00
Irish novelist Sally Rooney, 27, has become the youngest author ever to win the Costa Novel Award, triumphing for her second novel Normal People, a coming-of-age love story the judges said "will electrify any reader."

Celebrating "the most enjoyable books" across five different categories, the judges of the Costa Book Awards 2018 also selected Stuart Turton for The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Published in the US as the The 7 1/2 Deaths...), Bart van Es for The Cut Out Girl, J O Morgan for Assurances (not yet published in the US), and Hilary McKay for The Skylarks' War (US title: Love to Everyone) to be the respective winners of the prizes' First Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book awards.

Brian Garfield, award-winning author of more than 70 books, screenwriter and film producer dies aged 79

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 11:24
Brian Garfield, award-winning author, screenwriter and film producer, died December 29. He was 79. After publishing his first title, Range Justice, when he was 18, Garfield went on to write more than 70 books--westerns, mysteries and nonfiction. Nineteen films are based on his writings, including Death Wish. His violence-free and Edgar Award-winning novel Hopscotch was written in response to the vigilantism of Death Wish.

Publishers Weekly buys TheMillions.com for an undisclosed sum

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 11:23
PWxyz, parent company of Publishers Weekly, has acquired the online magazine the Millions, plus its website TheMillions.com, for an undisclosed price.

The Millions was founded in 2003 by Max Magee and offers coverage of books, arts, and culture aimed at a consumer audience. Magee had been its editor until 2016, when Lydia Kiesling took over the role. Moving forward, Adam Boretz, a longtime editor at PW, who also served at the Millions as Magee's associate editor, will become editor of the Millions, and will be promoted to senior editor at PW. Kiesling will continue to be involved in various capacities.

Amos Oz, Israeli Author and Peace Advocate, Dies at 79

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 14:12
Amos Oz, the renowned Israeli author whose work captured the characters and landscapes of his young nation, and who matured into a leading moral voice and an insistent advocate for peace with the Palestinians, died on Friday. He was 79.

His death was announced by his daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger, who wrote on Twitter that he had died after a short battle with cancer, "in his sleep, peacefully."

Books by Agatha Christie, P.G. Wodehouse, Robert Frost, and many more enter the public domain on Jan 1

Sat, 12/29/2018 - 12:17
This coming year marks the first time in two decades that a large body of copyrighted works will lose their protected status - a shift that will have profound consequences for publishers and literary estates, which stand to lose both money and creative control.

Many thousands of works are due to enter the public domain including those by Marcel Proust, Willa Cather, D. H. Lawrence, Agatha Christie, Joseph Conrad, Edith Wharton, P. G. Wodehouse, Rudyard Kipling, Katherine Mansfield, Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens...

The sudden deluge of available works traces back to legislation Congress passed in 1998, which extended copyright protections by 20 years.... Now that the term extension has run out, the spigot has been turned back on. Each January will bring a fresh crop of novels, plays, music and movies into the public domain...

Audrey Geisel, Dr. Seuss' widow and noted philanthropist, dies at 97

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 13:58
Audrey Geisel, 97, philanthropist and wife of the late Theodor Seuss Geisel, died on December 19.

Petite and often understated, she was a fierce protector of her husband's creations and legacy, and a major donor to institutions he supported and helped to flourish, including UC San Diego and the San Diego Zoo. She founded Dr. Seuss Enterprises in 1993 to maintain the Dr. Seuss trademark.

Cathy Goldsmith, president and publisher of Random House Children's Dr. Seuss program, said, "Audrey had such a quick wit and smart sense of humor, which made her a pleasure to work with and be around. I will always remember her sparkle. Audrey could light up a room, and I know that her brightness found its way into Ted's work, and her tireless advocacy for his books and our publishing."

Controversy continues over Linda Fairstein's Grand Master Award

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 12:32
Several longtime, well-known members and honorees of the Mystery Writers of America, including two mystery booksellers and a past president, have made public their extreme displeasure with the association's quick retraction of a Grand Master Edgar to Linda Fairstein last month. They argue that the MWA board caved in to a Twitter campaign that was a form of "cyberbullying" and "mob rule"; did not follow any kind of due process or engage with members on the matter; and was deceptive in saying it didn't know about the mystery author's earlier career as a sex crimes prosecutor in New York City, which involved the 1989 Central Park Jogger case...

Reese Witherspoon to produce 'Where the Crawdads Sing' adaptation for Fox 2000

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 11:28
Fox 2000 has acquired the best-selling novel "Where the Crawdads Sing" and has tapped Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine to produce a feature film adaptation.

Witherspoon's involvement is not a great surprise. The Oscar winner has been a champion of the book, selecting it for inclusion in her Reese's Book Club.

Brazilian Book Trade Facing 'Dark Days for Books'

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 11:26
An ongoing crisis in the Brazilian publishing market "that combined steady declines in the price of books with rising inflation" is raising concerns about the future of the book trade in the country, the Guardian reported. Book chain Saraiva, which had announced the closure of 20 stores in October, said late last month that it was filing for bankruptcy protection. Rival chain Cultura has also filed a reorganization plan to avoid bankruptcy. Brazil is in the midst of its worst recession in decades, and the recent election of far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro as the country's next president is "sending ripples of fear through the country's cultural community."

Is listening to a book the same thing as reading it?

Sun, 12/09/2018 - 19:30
Daniel T. Willingham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia, compares audio books to print books and concludes that each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior:

... listening to a book club selection is not cheating. It’s not even cheating to listen while you’re at your child’s soccer game (at least not as far as the book is concerned). You’ll just get different things out of the experience. And different books invite different ways that you want to read them: As the audio format grows more popular, authors are writing more works specifically meant to be heard.

Our richest experiences will come not from treating print and audio interchangeably, but from understanding the differences between them and figuring out how to use them to our advantage — all in the service of hearing what writers are actually trying to tell us.

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