paper trail

Nov 6, 2012 @ 12:21:00 am

Actor Paul Dano will be kicking off the first-ever Moby Dick reading marathon at Word Books in Brooklyn on November 16. The event isn’t for the faint of heart—it will be running until November 18.

Amazon may be creating the future of bookselling, but it doesn’t have much control over it. The latest sign of the company’s troubles comes in the figure of Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, who signed with Amazon for his latest book, The 4-Hour Chef. So far, Barnes and Noble has refused to carry the book, others major stores have followed suit, and indies who feel betrayed by Ferriss have decided to blacklist him.

It competed against Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road, and J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey, but the 1962 National Book Award ultimately went to the unknown Southern writer Walker Percy for his book The Moviegoer. “50 years later, it remains one of the great upsets in the history of the National Book Awards,” writes Benjamin Hedlin. “But was the fix in?”

The Authors Guild urges people to keep a close eye on the Random House-Penguin Merger. Scott Turow writes: “Although Random House has said that the combination would control 25% of the book market, that appears to significantly understate things. The companies’ share of the U.S. trade book market for fiction and narrative non-fiction likely exceeds 35%. Their share in certain submarkets is no doubt even higher. The merger merits close scrutiny from antitrust officials at the Justice Department or the FTC.”

A new issue of the Slate Book Review is out.

Franz Kafka and Max Brod, Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, Syliva Plath and Ted Hughes: Flavorwire rounds up its favorite editor/author pairs.