paper trail

Mystery of the missing Hong Kong booksellers

Eileen Myles

It seems that Lee Bo, the latest of five Hong Kong booksellers to have gone missing recently, may be being held by authorities in mainland China. CNN cites one source as suggesting that a publisher Lee and the others are connected to “had been planning on publishing a book about the ‘love affairs’ of China's President Xi Jinping during his time working ‘in the provinces.’”

To make amends for its infamous “80 Books Every Man Should Read” list—”What can we say? We messed up”—Esquire greets the new year with a new list, selected by women including Roxane Gay, Lauren Groff, Anna Holmes, and Sloane Crosley.

And Vulture asked authors which books had changed their lives: Among the highlights are Alexander Chee, who named Christa Wolf’s Cassandra, Celeste Ng (Anne Sexton’s Transformations), and Eileen Myles (Violette Leduc’s La Bâtarde).

Yet more drama at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, whose manager, Michael E. Schroeder, has now been removed. Schroeder has issued a bizarre apology to readers of a pseudonymous piece that appeared in two local Connecticut newspapers he publishes: The offending article attacked a Nevada judge presiding over a case that involves the casino interests of GOP donor and new Review-Journal owner Sheldon Adelson. Meanwhile in the Las Vegas newsroom, staffers have been being briefed on how to cover stories about their own boss.

Now that the requisite fifty years are up, we get to find out what went on behind the scenes of the 1965 Nobel Prize for Literature, which was awarded to Mikhail Sholokhov: The list of those who lost out includes first-time nominees Theodor Adorno, Anna Akhmatova, Alejo Carpentier, Alan Sillitoe, and Marguerite Yourcenar.

Gabriel García Márquez’s vast archives are to be made available online.

At long last, someone has used data to determine that most books really are better (or at least better liked) than their movie adaptations: Comparing IMDB and Goodreads scores for the same titles, Vocativ researchers found that the original books did better 74 per cent of the time. It’s unclear just how Hollywood fared in cases (like Pride and Prejudice) where there have been multiple adaptations of the same material, but perhaps that should merit extra points for effort.