Rumor has it that Britney Spears is writing a novel: According to the Hollywood Reporter, the pop star is in talks with publisher It Books.
Amazon has settled with the state of Arizona over unpaid sales taxes from 2006 to 2010. Last year, Arizona sued Amazon for million, claiming that the company had neglected to pay taxes that would have been standard for brick-and-mortar establishments. The amount of the settlement wasn’t disclose, but the agreement is similar to ones reached in California and Virginia. While the ruling is a victory for the states, many consumers aren’t so pleased: starting next July, Arizona shoppers will pay a 6.6 percent sales tax for their online purchases.
Some things we’re reading: (1) “I tend to believe that, before total annihilation, this clever/dumb species will design ingenious devices to ameliorate the poisonous effects of previous ones.” Novelist and critic Lynne Tillman reflects on current events and how people—artists in particular—might respond to them. (2) “Bookended by aerial shots of Manhattan and a demented, wordless lullaby, the film unfolds as a malevolent fairy tale of New York.” Bookforum contributor and novelist Ed Park’s essay on Rosemary’s Baby. (3) “The New York art business has been a speeding train for so long that it began to seem as if nothing could stop it, or even slow it down. Then came Hurricane Sandy.” Novelist and Artforum contributor Linda Yablonsky visits Chelsea galleries after the storm.
At Page Turner, Alexander Naryazan makes a case for writers learning math: “What ballet is to football players, mathematics is to writers, a discipline so beguiling and foreign, so close to a taboo, that it actually attracts a few intrepid souls by virtue of its impregnability.”
More Amazon news: The company is now taking a hard (if untenable) stance against authors reviewing other authors. After positively reviewing a friend’s book, author Steve Weddie received an email from Amazon notifying him that his review had been removed: “We do not allow reviews on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product. This includes authors, artists, publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product.”
And finally, the Washington Post reports that many independent bookstores in the D.C. area are refusing to stock Amazon imprint books.