Christopher Hitchens' new book of essays, Arguably, has just been released.

Only five people showed up at a Naples, Florida book event for Christine O’Donnell.

France is finally getting book blurbs.

Introducing the (fake) n+1 personals: “Brooklyn wiseass, 24, delusions of grandeur and mild egomania. Eager to tell you about his novel and his perfect GRE score.”

NPR considers the art of imitating dead writers on Twitter.

The New York Times’ R&D department is at work on the next generation media reader: “a giant touchscreen that lets the whole clan read and share right from their furniture.”

Vanity Fair excerpts Chad Harbach’s debut novel, The Art of Fielding.

Christopher Hitchens’ first book of essays since 2004 has just been released.

Demand for Madonna's out-of-print book proves that "Sex" still sells.

Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an $18 million settlement in favor of freelance writers who had had their work published online without “permission or compensation.” Andrew Albanese breaks down what this could mean for freelancers, and how the latest ruling in Tasini v. New York Times is likely to affect writers in the digital age.

How "The End of the Line for the Euro," a 12-part fictional series in Le Monde, caused financial panic in the UK.

Bibliophiles love to reflect on the effect books have on us, but Geoff Dyer would prefer to consider things the other way around.

The New Yorker excerpts the story “Town of Cats” from Haruki Murakami’s novel 1Q84, which will be released in English this October.

Madonna’s Sex, Stephen King’s Rage, and Johnny Cash’s Man in Black, are at the top of Bookfinder’s Top 100 Out-of-Print Books.

Another step towards digital literature: Book clubs are starting to use Skype.

Haruki Murakami

After parents complained of a scene depicting a "drug-fuelled, homosexual orgy," tenth graders at Williamstown High School in New Jersey will no longer have Haruki Murakami’s classic, Norwegian Wood, on their summer reading list.

Dick Cheney’s forthcoming memoir is already making people angry.

Meanwhile, the CIA is "demanding extensive cuts" in former FBI agent Ali H. Soufan's forthcoming memoir about American intelligence and the September 11 attacks.

Geoff Dyer reads books, picks nose.

Katie Rophie talks with Nicholson Baker about House of Holes, his latest "book of raunch:" "Things are in this book because I found them arousing. I was excited by writing this book. There is no point in doing it if you are not. You know the worry is, is it too tame? Is it too nice? Is it too weird? Is it too Dr Seuss-y? There is a review that says that. I kind of like that."

A new book examines the “under-the-radar sneakiness” of “function” words, like pronouns, and in particular, Obama’s supposedly excessive use of “me.”

Ford Madox Ford once advised judging a book by page 99. “The Page 99 Test” blog asks authors (including, most recently, Jeff Sharlet) to do the same.

Lewis Lapham's desk, via FSG Work in Progress

David Rakoff, Mike Birbiglia and Rick Reilly are among the finalists for the 2011 Thurber Prize for American humor writing.

Salon wonders why Obama isn’t reading more female authors.

Greenwich Village poet Samuel Menashe died at his home in Manhattan on Monday at the age of 85. Menashe was known for his “short verse” poems, which sometimes ran only four lines long.

Curious about what Lewis Lapham’s library looks like?

Sad times at Slate: The online magazine lays off longtime media critic Jack Shafer, foreign editor June Thomas, associate editor Juliet Lapidos, and correspondent Tim Noah.

The Observer chats with Cole Stryker, author of a new book on hacker community 4Chan.

Books-A-Million is taking over fourteen Borders leases in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and Michigan, for slightly under a million dollars.

The Moviergoer author Walker Percy.

Graphic novelist James Sturm investigates how difficult it is to get a cartoon into the New Yorker by submitting ninety of them.

The Believer interviews Ben Lerner about his excellent debut novel, Leaving the Atocha Station. (You can read an excerpt of the book here).

Stephen King is getting his own Maine-based radio show. “We wanted to shake things up a little bit in the market,” he explains to the Bangor Daily News.

The Millions runs an homage to Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer on its fiftieth birthday.

Perhaps looking to outdo Rick Moody's latest novel (good luck), NASA is collaborating with publisher Tor-Forge Books to put out series of books inspired by US space programs.

A Sport and A Pastime author James Salter.

Booktrack, a New York-based startup, is adding soundtracks to e-books. Among the books it will score with music are The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jane Eyre, Romeo and Juliet, and The Three Musketeers.

Simon & Schuster has signed a book deal with John Locke, the only self-published author ever to sell a million Kindle e-books. Locke is the author of the Donovan thriller series, and has published a self-help book of sorts: How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!

The “essential consideration” of Allan Hollinghurst’s writing is Englishness, Nakul Krishna writes in The Caravan, but can he be enjoyed by those without “an eye for English things?”

Berlin’s Central and Regional Library has agreed to return books stolen by the Nazis, including an English-language edition of the Communist Manifesto.

A new James Salter documentary, A Sport and a Pastime (a reflection on Salter’s novel of the same name), is coming out this year.

Conversational Reading’s Scott Esposito compiles a Roberto Bolano-approved reading list, as culled from books mentioned in Bolano's collection Between Parentheses.

Joan Didion, looking nonplussed.

What the president’s reading: While on vacation with his family in Martha’s Vineyard, Obama was spotted carrying Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Emma Donoghue’s Room, and The Bayou Trilogy, by Winter’s Bone author Daniel Woodrell.

Citing Chad Harbach’s $650,000 advance, New York magazine trumpets the return of big first book deals.

Dan Rather’s memoir, Summing Up, will be out next spring.

Vanessa Redgrave is going to narrate the audiobook for Joan Didion’s forthcoming memoir, Blue Nights.

"'Wittol'—a man who tolerates his wife's infidelity;" "'cyclogiro,' a type of aircraft propelled by rotating blades;" and "'alienism,' the study and treatment of mental illness"; are among the words the Collins English Dictionary has identified as "endangered."

The Decemberists’ new music video (directed by Parks and Recreation co-creator Michael Schur) features a game David Foster Wallace invented in Infinite Jest. rounds up the best magazine articles on the 2012 GOP presidential contenders.

Slavoj Žižek

Book sales are falling, but comics (especially high-end collections) are doing better than ever.

Michigan-based indie publisher Dzanc Books has created a new prize for mid-career writers. The winner (to be announced after the February 1 deadline) gets a $1,000 advance and publication with Dzanc in 2013.

James Patterson is the world’s highest-paid writer, but Stephenie Meyer and Stephen King aren’t doing too badly, according to a new Forbes list.

Slavoj Zizek considers the meaning of the London riots: “The fact that the rioters have no programme . . . tells us a great deal about our ideological-political predicament and about the kind of society we inhabit, a society which celebrates choice but in which the only available alternative to enforced democratic consensus is a blind acting out.”

Slate wonders what makes slang words stick.

Gerhard Steidl

Another alt weekly announces its demise: the New York Press goes under.

Incoming freshmen at Duke and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, are spending their summer reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals; first-years at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., are learning about Mexico’s Tarahumara distance runners via Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run; and come September, new Cornell students will discuss Homer & Langley, E. L. Doctorow’s novel about “two infamous packrats who were found dead in their Harlem brownstone in 1947 surrounded by more than 100 tons of accumulated stuff."

In honor of National Bad Poetry Day, Houston poet Rich Levy has endeavored to write the worst poem ever. It’s titled ‘The Nightingale and the Other Bird,’ and it begins, “Once upon a time, a bird flew to the top of a tree / It saw a caterpillar on bended knee / Which was odd for caterpillars don't have knees you see.” The rest is available here.

To promote Hooked, a forthcoming, anonymously-written novel about “a group of middle-aged men in an unnamed city as they travel around from brothel to brothel acting out various indiscretions,” publisher Tin House has set up a Tumblr page asking readers to anonymously share “stories and secrets” about their sex lives.

In a video for Wallpaper, publisher Gerhard Steidl explains how he makes his beautiful, beautiful art books.

Debut novelist Rebecca Searle might see her forthcoming adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, When You Were Mine, in movie theaters before bookstores.

Philip Glass, via Chester Novello

Philip Glass has signed a deal with Norton to publish his memoirs.

A Mississippi court has thrown out a lawsuit by Ablene Cooper, a former maid who claimed she was the basis for Kathryn Stockett’s book The Help.

Prompted by chatter about Camus’ mysterious, purportedly KGB-ordained death, the New Yorker’s Richard Brody revisits the history of car crashes in French cinema.

But who will play Mapplethorpe? Playwright and screenwriter John Logan is adapting Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids into a movie.

Amazon has signed self-help author Timothy Ferriss—author of The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Workweek—to launch their new publishing imprint with his forthcoming book, The 4-Hour Chef. If you haven’t read Dwight Garner’s hilarious assessment of Ferriss’ ouevre—"The 4-Hour Body reads as if the New England Journal of Medicine had been hijacked by the editors of the SkyMall catalog”—now is a good time to do so.

And then what happened? Reddit’s "Tip of My Tongue" page helps readers remember book titles though plot descriptions.

The Atlantic Wire unearths footage of Hunter S. Thompson cooking his favorite breakfast.