paper trail

May 20, 2013 @ 12:11:00 am

Under newly appointed editor Pamela Paul, a series of changes are being implemented at the New York Times Book Review. Among them, the e-book bestseller list will now be online only, book prices will no longer be included for any books, the magazine will have a “bloggier” look, and Paul has introduced a new column, “Open Book,” about readings and panels.

The best thing we read all weekend was Salon staffer Andrew Leonard’s investigation into Wikipedia user Qworty, who is notorious for making thousands of “revenge edits” to the Wikipedia pages of famous writers. Following a tip, Leonard makes a convincing case that Qworty is the pseudonym of a novelist who has moved his real-life grudges against other writers to the realm of Wikipedia.

Scarlett Johansson has announced that she will make her directorial debut with an adaptation of Truman Capote’s first novel, Summer Crossing. Capote famously disowned the novel, which is about a “17-year-old Protestant debutante who embarks on an affair with a Jewish parking-lot attendant while her family vacations in Paris during the summer of 1945.” It was published for the first time in 2004, after it was discovered among Capote’s papers.

The New York Times profiles The People’s Recreation Community Bookstore, a Hong Kong store that has has become wildly popular with visitors from mainland China for stocking “shelves of scandal-packed exposés about their Communist Party masters.” Because the books are banned in China and “more than 90 percent of sales come from mainland visitors,” owner Paul Tang tells the Times that “the most frequently asked question is not about the content of books,” but “how they can get the books back to China.”

Since the release of Sheryl Sandberg’s book, "lean in" has gone from a title to a full-on cultural meme.

In a Tweet last week, the Swedish Academy announced that they have selected the five writers up for the Nobel Prize in Literature. The shortlist is expected to be released sometime soon.