paper trail

Nov 8, 2012 @ 12:04:00 am

Nate Silver

Statistician and author Nate Silver proved his aptitude for political forecasting again on Tuesday after correctly predicting how all state races would turn out in the presidential election. Silver was off the mark by a mere 19 electoral college votes (only pundit Josh Putnam was closer). As Rachel Maddow quipped on MSNBC, "You know who won the election tonight? Nate Silver." Silver’s book, which Chris Wilson reviewed in our last issue, has spent the past month in the Amazon Top 100 rankings, but in light of the election, it’s climbing the ranks. It’s currently the top book in Amazon’s “Mathematics,” “Popular Economics,” and “Social Sciences” categories, and number-three in books sales overall.

Will dictionaries soon go the way of the telephone book? Following the lead of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the editors of Macmillan dictionaries say that this year’s editions will be the last ever in print. "The traditional book format is very limiting for any kind of reference work," editor Michael Rundell said of the decision. "Books are out of date as soon as they're printed, and the space constraints they impose often compromise our goals of clarity and completeness. There is so much more we can do for our users in digital media."

Reuters opinion editor James Ledbetter, whose books include Starving to Death on $200 Million: The Short, Absurd Life of The Industry Standard, has sold his latest title, Our Money, Ourselves, to Liveright. A study of currency-valuation battles in America, the book is scheduled to be released in 2014.

New Yorkers, if you're looking for something fun to do tonight, head to apexart at 7 for Double Take, a series in which writers read original work about shared experiences. Tonight features Stacey D'Erasmo and Maud Casey on Quay Brothers' Street of Crocodiles; Ben Anastas and Ed Park on grandmothers, and Bookforum editor Albert Mobilio and Alan Gilbert on Pink Floyd's album The Wall.

Children’s literature authored by athletes is a booming new genre, according to Forbes. In addition to Dennis Rodman’s loosely autobiographical book Dennis the Wild Bull, the genre includes contributions by Alex Rodriguez, Mia Hamm, and George Foreman. If that isn't convincing enough, New York Giants player Tiki Barber has published eight children’s books, and Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey is putting out two in 2014.

A new episode of NPR's Fresh Air features Oliver Sacks talking about hallucinations and his own experiences with mind-altering drugs. For more on Sacks’s latest book, Hallucinations, check out Jenny Davidson’s review in our Dec/Jan issue.

Liam Callahan is the author of The Cloud Atlas. Which should not be confused with David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. But confusion there is, especially in the wake of the recent film adaptation.