• Rebecca Skloot, author of Amazon's Best Book of 2010.
    November 05, 2010

    Nov 5, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Slate has published Mick Jagger's rambling reaction to Keith Richards's new memoir, Life. Jagger apparently accidentally sent the typewritten, stream-of-consciousness screed to journalist Bill Wyman instead of the Stones' bassist of the same name who oversees the band's archives. Is it a prank, a parody, or the legitimate scoop of the current blog cycle? Slate isn't saying. Whatever the case, it makes for entertaining reading, as Jagger writes: "It is said of me that I act above the rest of the band and prefer the company of society swells. Would you rather have had a conversation with Warren

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  • Adam Levin
    November 04, 2010

    Nov 4, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    We're four days into National Novel Writing Month, the annual project that encourages procrastinating would-be authors to plow ahead and pen a 50,000 word novel from scratch in thirty days (quantity over quality is the rule), and fifty-thousand words have already been spilled about the merits of participating. At Salon, Laura Miller criticizes the endeavor, writing "the last thing the world needs is more bad books," but Jacket Copy's Carolyn Kellogg disagrees, as does Ron Hogan at Beatrice, and some folks who participate in NaNoWrMo, lodging their anti-Miller complaints on their blogs and

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  • Stacy Schiff, photo by Sheva Fruitman
    November 03, 2010

    Nov 3, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Why did indie publisher Soft Skull Press close its New York offices after seventeen years in the city? The Observer investigates.

    As the debate about Amazon's sponsorship of the Best Translated Book Awards continues, the online bookselling giant has announced the first release of its new translation imprint, AmazonCrossing: Guinean author Tierno Monénembo's The King of Kahel, a novel based on the life of Olivier de Sanderval, an early colonizer of West Africa.

    New York magazine has taken the iPad plunge with its new app, which integrates print content with live feeds from their blogs.

    Tonight,

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  • Dave Eggers's World Series sketch for San Francisco's Bay Citizen.
    November 02, 2010

    Nov 2, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    George W. Bush will be the headliner at this year's Miami Book Fair. On November 14, he'll give a straight-shooting talk about his memoir, Decision Points, which comes out a week from today. In the Drudge Report's exclusive preview, we learn that Bush's book begins with a trope found in so much of great literature, namely, a drinking binge: "Can you remember the last time you didn't have a drink?"

    MobyLives airs some behind-the-scenes grumbling from the National Book Critics Circle Award, posting this remark from a dispirited anonymous board member: "Things are just as problematic at the NBCC

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  • Joy Division, from Kevin Cummins's new book of the band, published by Rizzoli.
    November 01, 2010

    Nov 1, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Last week, Melville House publisher Dennis Johnson announced that he was withdrawing his imprint's books from the Best Translated Book awards because the "predatory and thuggish" Amazon.com is sponsoring the contest. Open Letter publisher Chad Post, who secured the Amazon funding for the prize, has responded to Johnson, writing that the judges may go ahead and award a Melville House book anyway, and wonders if Johnson is "also withdrawing support from PEN America, the 92nd St. Y, and all of these other organizations that have received funding from Amazon."

    Novelist Arundhati Roy’s Delhi house

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  • Zadie Smith
    October 29, 2010

    Oct 29, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Melville House publisher Dennis Johnson is withdrawing his imprint's books from the Best Translated Book Award (which Melville House won last year), because Amazon is now sponsoring the prize. Johnson cites the web giants's "predatory and thuggish practices,” and writes, "Taking money from Amazon is akin to the medical researchers who take money from cigarette companies."



    Cultural critics fond of the long form, take note: Condensed reviews are gaining momentum. At the Huffington Post, Kimberly Brooks has introduced "Haiku Reviews," which is, we have to say, false advertising, since the

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  • David Foster Wallace and friend
    October 28, 2010

    Oct 28, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    The Millions links to a previously unpublished story by David Foster Wallace, which a few years ago was circulated samizdat-style and is now on Tumblr. The story, presumably from the author's forthcoming posthumous novel, The Pale King, opens with a boy who wants "to press his lips to every square inch of his body," hinting at a tragic mix of self-love and overwhelming isolation in ways that only DFW can.

    Daniel Ellsberg, the man famous for leaking the Pentagon Papers in 1971 (and the subject of a recent PBS documentary, "The Most Dangerous Man in America"), has just signed a contract

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  • Andy Hunter
    October 27, 2010

    Oct 27, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    In an article about his literary magazine, Electric Literature, Brooklyn-based editor Andy Hunter offers an insightful meditation on how to succeed in contemporary publishing: "People often refer to Electric Literature as an 'online magazine.' In reality, online is the only place we do not publish." The innovative publisher just released its latest app, produced with author Stephen Elliott for his excellent memoir The Adderall Diaries (film rights for Elliott's book were recently optioned by James Franco).

    Elliott's Rumpus Book Club unveils its latest selections, which include Rumpus Women

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  • Keith Richards
    October 26, 2010

    Oct 26, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Keith Richards's memoir Life, for which he was paid a $7 million advance, is out, and the reviews are good. Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani—clearly a Stones fan—calls the book "electrifying." She continues: "Mr. Richards’s prose is like his guitar playing: intense, elemental, utterly distinctive and achingly, emotionally direct." At the Huffington Post, Jesse Kornbluth says Richards "serves [up his storires] like his guitar riffs—in your face, nasty, confrontational, rich, smart, and, in the end, unforgettable." (The stories include how he did drugs not to nod out, but so he could work.)

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  • Kwame Anthony Appiah
    October 25, 2010

    Oct 25, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Richard Nash's new publishing venture, Cursor, will be launched this spring with Lynne Tillman’s story collection Someday This Will Be Funny. Nash has big plans to adapt to the rapidly changing publishing industry, and they go beyond e-books: “I don’t know whether this is grandiose or insane or whatever, but I am trying to change about 18 different things at once."

    Amazon has announced that the Kindle will soon allow you to lend e-books.

    The Virginia Quarterly Review is blogging again after a three-month hiatus following managing editor Kevin Morrissey's suicide and a subsequent investigation

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  • Ben Greenman
    October 22, 2010

    Oct 22, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    At the New Republic, Ruth Franklin weighs in on the weak Kathryn Harrison review of Lydia Davis's new translation of Madame Bovary. Unlike Harrison, Franklin actually addresses the quality of the translation, and in some ways finds Davis's approach lacking: "Faithful to a fault, even to the extent of preserving awkwardnesses and infelicities that other translators have silently smoothed out."

    Rick Moody has kicked off his series of tweets about the future of publishing.

    Mediabistro's GalleyCat recently joined other book review editors on a a panel to offer recommendations for how to pitch

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  • Tea Obreht
    October 21, 2010

    Oct 21, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    The owners of Editor and Publisher, once dubbed the "bible of the newspaper industry," have laid off the three staff members who survived the journal's sale earlier this year.

    The University of Virginia has released its investigation of the Virginia Quarterly Review in the wake managing editor Kevin Morrissey's suicide this summer, and while editor Ted Genoways has been cleared of bullying charges, the report does recommend that "appropriate corrective action" be taken for Genoways's brusque managment style and his "failure . . . to follow institutional procedures in a variety of areas."

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