“The Crisis Is With Publishers, Not Writers”: NYPL Hosts Conversation on Amazon vs. Hachette

Last night at the New York Public Library, a group consisting of a mega-bestselling author (James Patterson), a publisher (Morgan Entrekin), several professors, a political theorist (Danielle Allen), an attorney (Bob Kohn), a literary agent (Tina Bennett), and others assembled to ask the question, “Amazon: Business As Usual?” They discussed the current controversy around the e-commerce behemoth — Amazon, obviously, believes it is in the right and today reiterated that what it’s doing is “in the long-term interest of our customers,” while publishers, bookstores (both independent shops and struggling chains like Barnes and Noble), authors, and even writers who defended Amazon in the past are agreeing this move is “Amazon behaving at its worst.” … Read More

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Neil Gaiman in a Badger Costume and Other Quirky Photos of Authors Dressed Like Childhood Characters

Neil Gaiman is dressed like an anthropomorphic badger: face paint, hair, the works. It’s not often that adults get to play dress-up (outside of, say, Comic-Con or fantasy movie premieres), but photographer Cambridge Jones gave 26 authors, Gaiman included, the opportunity to do just that. For an exhibit called 26 Characters at The Story Museum in Oxford, England, Jones asked the writers to dress up like their favorite childhood characters, to ensure the photos would be vibrant and captivating enough that people would actually stop and take a long look at them. … Read More

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Emily Gould’s 5 Favorite Karaoke Songs to Perform With a Friend

In this month’s roundup of notable new books, we called Emily Gould’s Friendship “honest, moving, and important.” That’s certainly reason enough to pick up Gould’s debut novel, but her appreciation for the art of karaoke should also serve as a big selling point.

To celebrate the release of her book, as well as her love of singing songs other people wrote, guided by a beat and lyrics projected over a video that usually has nothing to do with the song itself, we asked Gould to put together a list of the best songs to perform at karaoke with a friend. … Read More

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‘Diary of a Mad Diva’: Joan Rivers Can’t Stop, and It’s Ruining Her Legacy

If you’re in an airport bookstore and the mood strikes you, flip to a random page in Joan Rivers’ bilious new book Diary of a Mad Diva, and you’ll be offended in a second:

“I love that all the shows in town were performed at 3 p.m., this way a couple can get up in the morning, hose down the doublewide, gun down a couple of defenseless animals, burn an abortion clinic, see a terrific show and still get out in time for lupper.” … Read More

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10 Must-Read Books for July

Hopefully you’re on a beach or in a cabin on or around the beach, maybe on a hammock, possibly by a pool, or situated right in front an air conditioner that’s blowing cold air directly at you as you sip an equally cold beverage. But however you’re dealing with the summer heat, you really need a book, or two, or ten, to help you survive the sun beating down and the fact that the cooler filled with beer will eventually run out. And the books that come out this July — maybe more than in summers past — offer readers a fine selection of titles to pick from, to accompany a relaxing seventh month of the… Read More

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How to Be an Outsider Artist: The Weird Beauty of Jon Ronson’s ‘Frank’

If you have any pre-awareness of the film Frank, opening in August, after a Sundance premiere and a screening at South by Southwest that garnered both raves and befuddled reviews, it’s probably this: it’s the movie where Michael Fassbender wears a giant fake papier maché head. … Read More

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The Many Literary Adaptations of Orson Welles

It’s notable that in My Lunches With Orson — the collection of taped conversations between Orson Welles and Henry Jaglom in the last years of the Citizen Kane director’s life — Welles mentions writers Jean-Paul Sartre, Jorge Luis Borges, Dwight Macdonald, James Agee, Joan Didion, and John O’Hara… but in the capacity of their film criticism, not their novels or nonfiction. Reading the conversations, it becomes clear that Welles was a big reader and obviously had a love for great literature — something also evidenced by the many film adaptations of literature he had a hand in. Here’s a selection of the most interesting. … Read More

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The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2014 So Far

It’s heartening to realize that there’s a surplus of elegantly written nonfiction books these days — books that can take you to another time, place, and location, and even cause a revolution in your mind. Here’s a sampling of the ten best nonfiction titles, ones that linger in our minds as the first half of the year draws to a… Read More

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New Biogaphies of Aleister Crowley and Proto-Fascist Poet Gabriele d’Annunzio Raise Big Questions on the Nature of Evil

Aleister Crowley was routinely referred to during his lifetime as “the wickedest man in the world.” He was an occultist, the founder of Thelema, a person who lived by the phrase “Do what thou wilt,” a drug addict, and all told, not a very fun person to be around. He was also a painter, a poet, a great mountain climber, and ultimately more an aesthete than a madman. … Read More

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The Foreign Graphic Novels Behind 10 Films

The subway suddenly seems like a fun place to be after seeing Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, which arrived in theaters this weekend. His post-apocalyptic nightmare is based on the French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige, centered on a group of survivors trapped on a segregated train circling the earth. Hollywood has mined the comic book world for a never-ending series of superhero films, but the foreign graphic novel library is still a relatively new source for filmmakers. We’ve highlighted graphic novels hailing from other countries that became the basis for ten different films — including a few adaptations that might surprise you. … Read More

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