- 2013 Dec 06
Birds Will Attack Delivery Drones
Birds are going to hate the Amazon delivery drones. Unseen to us, the skies are checkered with fiercely defended bird territories. Open-country raptors—hawks, eagles, kites, harriers, etc.—don’t take kindly to interlopers on their hunting grounds.
Picture Book Presides with Bratton
If there was an unexpected star at the news conference on Thursday announcing that William J. Bratton would be New York City’s next police commissioner, it was a faded yellow copy of Your Police, a children’s picture book published in 1956, that Bratton tenderly held in his hands.
21 Signs You're in a Book Relationship
There’s loving books…and then there’s being in love with books.
- 2013 Dec 05
What Obama's Reading List Says
A reading list offers a rare window into the presidential mind, a peek at what a commander in chief may be thinking about beyond the prosaic and repetitive briefings that dominate his days. The books on the White House night stand provide relief, escape or inspiration. At times they can influence a president’s approach to the crises and challenges he confronts.
- 2013 Dec 04
21 Best Lines of 2013
From some of the year’s most enjoyable books.
How I Write: James McBride
The newly crowned National Book Award winner for Fiction tells The Daily Beast about his pad in New York City, being able to write anywhere, and rewriting everything—even his emails.
- 2013 Dec 03
Amazon's Drone Strike
Why the company announced its aerial assault and why cities are likely to be the last place to see copters making deliveries
What Happens When You're a Book Nerd
Being the Designated Book Nerd in your family or social circle is an important job. And it brings with it–especially at the holidays, filled with parties and gatherings–a certain set of expected experiences.
- 2013 Dec 02
Video and full transcript of Jeff Bezos's appearance on 60 Minutes on Sunday, where the Amazon CEO unveiled plans for a drone delivery system.
Jonathan Franzen, Elizabeth Gilbert and many more writers on how they deal with their doubts -- and benefit from them.
Out of Print, Not Out of Mind
Even as the universe of printed matter continues to shrivel, the book — or at least some of its best-known features — is showing remarkable staying power online. The idea is apparently embedded so deeply in the collective unconsciousness that no one can bear to leave it behind.
'It took 14 years for My Writing to Pay'
Crime writer Ian Rankin, 53, who has sold more than 20 million books, opens up on his personal finances.
- 2013 Nov 27
Psalm Nets $14M at Auction
A 1640 book of psalms translated from Hebrew sold for a record breaking $14.16 million at auction on Tuesday. Known as the Bay Psalm Book, it is the first book published in English in what is now the U.S. There are only 10 other known copies. The buyer was David M. Rubenstein, co-founder of the private equity firm the Carlyle Group, who says he plans to loan the book out to museums.
Fitzgerald's 22 Essential Books
In 1936 — perhaps the darkest year of his life — F. Scott Fitzgerald was convalescing in a hotel in Asheville, N.C., when he offered his nurse a list of 22 books he thought were essential reading. The list is written in the nurse’s hand.
Tips and Tricks for NaNoWriMo
Agents at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency took to Twitter to ask authors for writing advice in honor of National Novel Writing Month.
- 2013 Nov 26
260 Pages Written on a BlackBerry
Meet Geordie Greig, the man who wrote a biography of Lucian Freud almost entirely on his BlackBerry.
'EW' Readers Vote on Best YA Novel
And the winner is…not a novel, but a series. And what a series.
- 2013 Nov 25
Amazon Working Conditions Probe
Conditions at a U.K.-based Amazon warehouse could cause “mental and physical illness," a stress expert has told BBC's Panorama, for an investigation to be broadcast on November 25.
A Tale of Two Lolitas
Three weeks before Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, there was Dorothy Parker’s. Coincidence?
Real Life Downton Abbeys
A historian offers a ridiculously diverting glimpse of downstairs life in Edwardian England.
- 2013 Nov 22
Amazon Eyeing the Tube for Drop Offs
Amazon is reportedly in talks with Transport for London to use the closed ticket offices as “drop off” points for deliveries.
Why No More Illustrated Adult Books?
Sherlock Holmes was defined by his illustrator, Sidney Paget, but now we leave pictures to Pooh or the Gruffalo.
- 2013 Nov 21
NYPL Acquires Wolfe Papers for $2M
The $2.15 million acquisition of Tom Wolfe's archives, largely paid for with a private donation, was approved by the library’s board on Wednesday afternoon.
Bringing 'Fun Home' to the Stage
The daunting task of creating a musical out of Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic memoir.
- 2013 Nov 20
I Was Tina Brown's Lackey
And here we have yet another excerpt of Daniel Menaker's My Mistake, where the former New Yorker editor struggles to stay afloat under his glamorous new boss.
Writer Thanks Her Lucky Stars
Eleanor Catton discusses The Luminaries.
Newly Discovered O’Connor Journals
A Prayer Journal provides an unprecedented glimpse at the young, healthy Flannery O’Connor—whose entries are by turns self-deprecating and fervently ambitious, yet always clever.
- 2013 Nov 19
Fifty Years Since JFK
A half a century after John F. Kennedy's assassination, are there still more stories to tell? A slew of new books argues yes.
Selfie is OED's Word of the Year
Ubiquitous noun for social media self-portraits faces down newly discovered cute mammal the olinguito in annual contest.
Old Chinese Novel Is Racy Reading Still
David Tod Roy completes his nearly 40-year effort to bring the complete text of The Plum in the Golden Vase into English translation.
Impress your friends and humiliate your children using Slate’s foolproof strategy for finding the missing man.
Why So Serious?
Reimagining the author photo.
- 2013 Nov 18
'X Factor' for Novelists
A literary talent show is about to be aired in Italy, but is television the right place to nurture literary talent?
An Inside Look at the Publishing Biz
New York magazine excerpts Daniel Menaker's new memoir, My Mistake.
Ask the Writing Teacher
Fifty shades of rejection.
- 2013 Nov 15
Proust's 'Swann's Way' Turns 100
How has it held up?
50 Strange and Awesome Cookbooks
Beyond Julia Child, Anthony Bourdain and even Alton Brown exists a culinary world limited only by human imagination and gag reflex. Here we explore some lesser known but very intriguing cookbooks.
- 2013 Nov 14
Publisher Apologizes for Omitting Israel
Scholastic announced Wednesday that it will cease shipments of a popular children’s book that omits Israel on a map of the Middle East. Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt, which is part of the Geronimo Stilton series, includes a map of Egypt that shows other surrounding countries, including Libya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Thrilling Round of Literary Jeopardy
On Monday night, downstairs at the McNally Jackson bookstore, author and Jeopardy champion Tom Nissley m.c.’ed a round of Literary Jeopardy, featuring contestants Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review; Edwin Frank, editor of NYRB Classics; Ruth Franklin of The New Republic; and Eric Banks, the former editor of Bookforum and now the director of the Institute for the Humanities at N.Y.U.
Ten Terrific Reading Nooks
While bookish types can generally read anywhere and at any time, there’s something magical about having your own little nook for the purpose. It should be heavily cushioned, well-lit, and preferably with somewhere to put your mug. Here are ten excellent reading nooks, for use in your someday-house.
Food Section Faces Demise in SF
The San Francisco Chronicle is planning to eliminate its stand-alone food section and integrate it into a single lifestyle section — tentatively titled “Artisan” — with material from other parts of the newspaper, including the home section, according to employees who have been told of the plans.
- 2013 Nov 13
How I Write: Tracy Chevalier
The Girl With a Pearl Earring author talks with the Daily Beast about works of art that inspire her, watching Scarlett Johansson—and the Breaking Bad finale.
14 Beautiful Literary Hotels
They say that all fiction can be reduced to two basic plots: "a stranger comes to town" and "a man goes on a journey." Which suggests travel and literature make for cozy bedfellows. Here are some of the coolest hotels inspired by writers and their work.
- 2013 Nov 12
Surveillance Leaves Writers Wary
A survey by the writers’ organization PEN American Center has found that a large majority of its members are deeply concerned about recent revelations regarding the extent of government surveillance of email and phone records, with more than a quarter saying that they have avoided, or are seriously considering avoiding, controversial topics in their work.
Martin Cruz Smith Reveals Twist in Tale
Author of the 1981 blockbuster Gorky Park and many acclaimed books since, Smith writes about people who uncover and keep secrets. But for 18 years, he has had a secret of his own.
- 2013 Nov 11
Malcom X Heirs Seek to Stop Publication
Heirs of Malcolm X have gone to court to stop a Chicago company from publishing a diary of the activist leader's last year.
USPS to Deliver Sundays for Amazon
The cash-short United States Postal Service, which has failed to win congressional approval to stop delivering mail on Saturdays to save money, has struck a deal with the online retailer Amazon.com to deliver the company’s packages on Sundays — a first for both, with obvious advantages for each.
Literary Twitter’s First Tweets
The Millions digs into Twitter's archive to find the very first tweets from some authors.
- 2013 Nov 08
GIFS, Memes, and Liveblogs
The controversial new language of book reviewing.
Sparks to Make Flame
On the ideas behind fiction.
Faulks Gives Wodehouse a Reboot
Faulks's Jeeves and the Wedding Bells is the first authorized literary reboot of the late novelist P.G. Wodehouse’s comic novels, and it’s been controversial from the moment the project was announced.
- 2013 Nov 07
'A Time to Kill' Sets Closing Date
John Grisham may lure readers to his novels in droves, but not to Broadway: The stage adaptation of his best-selling book A Time To Kill will close there on November 17, the producers announced on Wednesday.
McSweeney's Crowdfunding Campaign
For its 15th birthday, the San Francisco-based literary quarterly founded by Dave Eggers has kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to raise $15. Yes, $15.
Zinn 'Read In' at Purdue Draws a Crowd
More than 100 people came together Tuesday at Purdue to read and celebrate the work of controversial anti-war historian Howard Zinn, whose name has been uttered frequently around campus this year.
- 2013 Nov 06
The Review War
A day after MacKenzie Bezos, the wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, blasted a new book about her husband and his company in a one-star review on Amazon.com, Amazon’s first employee, Shel Kaphan, has published a four-star review of Brad Stone’s The Everything Store, in which he recommends the book and criticizes MacKenzie Bezos’s take.
Be Afraid, Amazon Competitors
The retail giant’s critics misunderstand the brilliant business model.
Detective to Pay Damages for Book
A judge in Puerto Rico has ordered a private detective to pay $575,000 in damages to a family after publishing a book about a high-profile killing of an 8-year-old boy.
- 2013 Nov 05
Bezos's Wife Posts Amazon Review
Jeff Bezos has yet to make a public peep about The Everything Store. But his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, has made her displeasure known — on the book’s Amazon.com page.
Why DC is Leaving NYC
In her first public comments, DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson spoke to the Wall Street Journal about the decision.
From Bookseller to Novelist
William Petrocelli may have just published his first novel, but he was pretty confident he wasn't going to have the hassles other first-time authors face. That's just one of the perks of co-owning a bookstore.
Best Way to Kill a Novelist's Passion?
Success. If you can't seem to get your novel published, or if it's a commercial failure, never fear: some of the best writers improved as their reputations and sales declined.
- 2013 Nov 01
Book Details Talks About Replacing Biden
President Obama’s top aides secretly considered replacing Vice President Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton on the 2012 ticket, undertaking extensive focus-group sessions and polling in late 2011 when Mr. Obama’s re-election outlook appeared uncertain, according to Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's new book, Double Down.
John Wiley & Sons Sues Politician
Ralph M. Mohr, the Republican commissioner on the Erie County Board of Elections, is the sole remaining defendant in a civil suit brought by the publisher of the For Dummies series, who contend that Mohr illegally downloaded a single copy of Calculus Essentials for Dummies and then distributed it using peer-to-peer file-sharing technology.
Rowling Denies Being Inspired by Tusk
J.K. Rowling says the fact that the 130-year-old whale tusk was engraved with the name Cornelius Fudge, a character in Harry Potter, was a coincidence.
- 2013 Oct 31
Twenty Years of Bestsellers
How has your reading changed in the past 20 years? From readers shopping in brick-and-mortar bookstores, to the dominance of game-changing online sellers, to a digital era of e-reading and instant delivery, the book industry has gone through monumental change. USA Today looks through 20 years of best-selling books.
Retired Prof Gives Books on Halloween
"Candy is gone in 30 minutes," retired MU professor Gary Fox, 83, said. "Books will be passed on and shared."
Why Readers Love Big Bios
It's aspirational. Says one publisher, we hope "there’s something about genius [...] that can rub off."
- 2013 Oct 30
Lehane to Write Remake of French Pic
Dennis Lehane is attached to adapt the script for the remake of the critically-acclaimed French film A Prophet for Sony.
The Empathy Gap
Mark Liberman, for Slate, on how that study on literary fiction and empathy proves precisely nothing.
Ann Patchett: How I Write
The author talks about her friendship with Elizabeth Gilbert and Donna Tartt, the short story renaissance, and owning an independent bookstore.
Inside Scoop on Publishing
An interview with Steven Zacharius, president and CEO of Kensington.
It's not only Stephen King and James Herbert, you should be afraid of Cormac McCarthy and Kafka, explains the horror novelist, Joseph D'Lacey.
- 2013 Oct 29
"I was as poor as it's possible to be... Now I am able to give." J.K. Rowling reveals her most ambitious plot yet in a new interview.
Digital in Academics
Why hasn't the tech industry disrupted the textbook industry yet?
- 2013 Oct 28
10 Great Meals in Literature
From Alice in Wonderland to The Bell Jar, the food of fiction.
From a Universe More Analog
J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst's collaboration on a book, S. When it comes out on Tuesday, the biggest surprise may be that pop’s reigning futurist has something very old-fashioned up his sleeve.
5 Series You Probably Missed as a Kid
But should probably read as an adult.
- 2013 Oct 25
Jennifer Weiner on Jonathan Franzen
“His hands aren’t as clean as he’d like to believe.”
Ariz. Lifts Mexican-American Books Ban
The Tucson Unified School District is reinstating seven books banned after a Mexican-American Studies program was outlawed in Arizona.
- 2013 Oct 24
Editor at OED Enjoys Last Word
The third edition is some 18 years behind schedule, but then one doesn’t like to rush these things, says the outgoing chief editor.
Startup Pub Raises $2M on Kickstarter
The Soho, London based Unbound has a model where authors pitch ideas for books and supporters then pledge financial backing in return for rewards. Think Kickstarter for books and you’re close.
M.C. in 'Cabaret' to Publish Memoir
Joel Grey, the actor best known for his role as the M.C. in Cabaret, for which he won a Tony Award and an Oscar, will publish a memoir with Flatiron Books, a new imprint of Macmillan.
What Would Harry Potter Kids Read?
What if, in between reading The Monster Book of Monsters and Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them the kids at Hogwarts picked up a muggle novel?
- 2013 Oct 23
Amazon Raises Free Shipping Minimum
Amazon raised its free shipping minimum to $35, after a decade of free shipping to U.S. addresses on a minimum order of $25. The change went into effect Tuesday, just ahead of the holiday shopping season, according to Amazon.com spokeswoman Julie Law.
Enigmatic Dickinson Revealed Online
The online Emily Dickinson Archive, to be inaugurated on Wednesday, will bring together on a single open-access Web site thousands of manuscripts held by Harvard University, Amherst College, the Boston Public Library and five other institutions.
23 Famous Authors' Last Words
Authors spend their lives expressing life’s intricacies. Their last words capture this elegance.
- 2013 Oct 22
Kidnapping Victims Writing a Book
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.
Why Collins Is Our Most Popular Poet
He’s read by many—you can even find his poems in New York City subway cars—but what makes Billy Collins so loved? Austen Rosenfeld reads the latest collection to see what’s special about a Billy Collins poem.
Editing Tucker Max
"Publishing has always depended on having smart people willing to do its down-market work."
- 2013 Oct 21
Jolie to Sign $50M Deal?
Rumor from The Daily Star: At least three U.S. publishers are locked in a battle for the rights to Angelina Jolie's autobiography.
- 2013 Oct 18
3000 Russian volunteers proofread 46,000 pages of his work, to be digitized.
- 2013 Oct 17
Lagardere To Part with 10 Magazines
French media group Lagardere said it planned to restructure its magazine division and sell 10 of its 39 titles to focus on growing its most strategic brands online, adding that its restructuring could affect a total of 350 jobs.
10 Things We Learned from Morrissey Bio
From soap opera roles to kidnap attempts – Morrissey's book is full of surprises.
- 2013 Oct 16
Jobs' Ex Pens Memoir
Chrisann Brennan, the mother of Steve Jobs' eldest child, writes in The Bite in the Apple how success turned Jobs into a "demon."
Thurman Drops $10M on Novelist's Apt
Uma Thurman has bought the iconic, $10 million Manhattan apartment owned by best-selling novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford and her filmmaker husband, Robert.
- 2013 Oct 15
Bernstein to Write Memoir
Carl Bernstein has plans to write a memoir -- not about his Pulitzer-winning days at The Washington Post -- but about his early years as a budding journalist at the now-defunct D.C. newspaper, The Washington Star.
In Iceland, 1 in 10 Will Publish a Book
Iceland is experiencing a book boom. This island nation of just over 300,000 people has more writers, more books published and more books read, per head, than anywhere else in the world.
- 2013 Oct 11
The Quiet Canadian
How Alice Munro conquered the literary world.
Amazon to Buy TenMarks
Amazon.com said Thursday it agreed to buy TenMarks, which makes develops personalized online math programs for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
- 2013 Oct 10
Excerpt: 'The Everything Store'
Businessweek’s Brad Stone spoke to hundreds of current and former friends of founder Jeff Bezos. In the process, he discovered the poignant story of how Amazon became the Everything Store.