Throughout the month of February, bestselling author Laura Hillenbrand will participate in a social media event through NPR’s Facebook, Twitter and Web portals, where NPR will be sponsoring discussion about Hillenbrand’s new book, Unbroken, the story of WWII hero Louie Zamperini.
Over the course of the month, NPR will host a discussion board about Unbroken on the NPR Books Facebook page; Hillenbrand herself will participate in this discussion, as well as on her own “Talk to Laura” board. NPR will also host a live chat with Hellenbrand at the end of the month.
In our signature review of Unbroken, we said Hillenbrand “tells the stories of thousands whose suffering has been mostly forgotten. She restores to our collective memory this tale of heroism, cruelty, life, death, joy, suffering, remorselessness, and redemption.”
Full details on the event can be found here.
Fans of the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami are cheering in the streets due to the news that Murakami’s magnum opus, 1Q84, will be published in English by Knopf on October 25, 2011.
The news came in the form of a tweet from Knopf publicity director Paul Bogaards, who, on Friday, wrote “Haruki Murakami’s long-awaited magnum opus, 1Q84, out from Knopf 10/25. In one volume. Booyah! Midnight store openings for this one?”
Booyah is right–1Q84 published in three volumes in Japan, has attained a kind of mythical status among Murakami fans. It will be published in a single (big) volume in the US, translated by Jay Rubin.
Murakami’s last book to be translated into English was his memoir on fitness, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.
Are you excited?
New week, new links!
Borders Delaying Paying: Reuters explains how Borders is conserving cash by delaying January payments.
Foreign Rights Explained: Daily Finance talks about where the real money is in publishing…
Twin City Indies: They ain’t closing! Indie booksellers are fighting and winning , according to TwinCities.com.
‘Endgame’ Reviewed: The new biography of chess champ Bobby Fisher, reviewed by Salon’s Laura Miller.
Digital Design: The NYT talks about book design for the digital age.
If there was any doubt that people like free stuff, let what follows dispel that doubt. The Adams media division of F+W media published a Holocaust memoir called A Child al Confino, in which a Holocaust survivor recreates WWII-era Vienna through the eyes of his childhood self just as Nazi forces invaded the city.
In honor of National Holocaust Remembrance Day, Adams decided to give the book away for three days, beginning yesterday. In under 24 hours, it shot up to the top of Amazon’s free e-book bestseller list, as you can see from the screen shot above, taken just now.
Whether or not this will translate to sales when the book is no longer free remains to be seen, though it’s quite likely. And the giveaway was a good gesture on the part of the publisher.
Click this pic to see the whole video
To be fair, this isn’t really a book trailer at all, but it is being used to promote an upcoming book. Noelle Kocot, a beloved poet who was the subject of PW’s poetry profile two years ago, is about to publish her new collection of poems, The Bigger World (PW review forthcoming) with Wave Books. Kocot’s friend Liz Whiteside filmed Kocot tearing open the FedEx package containing the first advance copy of the book. Click through to watch the whole happy moment caught on tape. This is what all author videos should be–no more ridiculous things that look like snippets from cheesy horror movies, just happiness about books!
Diggin’ Yrself Out…
Man E-Booker Prize: For the first time, the judges of the Man Booker were given e-readers to read the books submitted for the award. From the BBC.
Snooki’s (Lack of) Sales: Snooki’s book A Shore Thing has only sold 8,998 copies so far. From the Hollywood Reporter.
Salinger’s Whopper: Turns out J.D. Salinger was a big fan of Burger King, according to a cache of letters just made public.
The Ole’ Book Nook in Urbana, Ohio will close its doors. From the Springfield News-Sun.
Germ Bookstore and Gallery in Philadelphia, a store specializing in books about aliens, will also close. From the Philadelphia Inquirer.
After much anticipation and an earlier delay, News Corp has sent out press invitations to the official launch of the iPad Newspaper the Daily, which was supposedly developed with Apple’s help. MacRumors posted the above invitation. The event will be help on Wednesday, February 2 at the Guggenheim in New York city at 11am EST. Presumably the app will be available in the app store the same day, but one never knows.
The Daily is reported to cost $.99 per week after a free trial period, and to enable subscription sales through the app, a feature not enabled so far on other iOS magazine apps.
So, this event may indeed usher in a new era of digital news and periodical sales. Or it could change nothing. What do you think?
The Center for Fiction, the New York-based nonprofit formerly known as the Mercantile Library, has relaunched its Web site at centerforfiction.org, adding a new original publication called the Literarian, and adding multi-media author content. The Center is also a physical location, an 8-story building at 17 E. 47th Street, which houses the library’s collections, a writer’s studio, reading rooms, and event spaces, as well as the organization’s offices.
In a press release, Center director Noreen Tomassi, said, “The goal of our internet presence is to become an important first stop for all fiction enthusiasts –readers and writers alike, and the ‘go to’ site for the publishing community to reach avid readers of fiction.”
The first issue of the Literarian contains interviews with and features by Cynthia Ozick and Yiyun Li, a feature on Popeye, and stories curated by partner literary magazines by Terese Svoboda, Stuart Dybek and others. The magazine is edited by Center Web editor Dawn Raffel, who, in her editors note, says “We’re here to celebrate and support the extraordinary breadth of literary fiction in the U.S. and around the world.”
So, fiction lovers, click on over and check it out. Also be sure to make your way over to the Center building itself; it was built in 1932 and spending time there is like taking a trip to another era.
Snow day! But the links must go on!
Nabokov Was Right About Butterflies: In his side gig as a butterfly expert, Nabokov put forth a then-unlikely hypothesis about the evolution of a certain kind of butterfly. Turns of he was right. From the NYT.
Happy Birthday iPad!: It’s been a year since Steve Jobs first unveiled the iPad. Pocket-Lint runs down this baby’s year of milestones.
Editor Sued for Running Negative Book Review: We’ll let Moby Lives explain.
Bookstore Openings and Closings:
A New Comic Store in Staunton VA is opening! From the News Leader.
Ben Franklin bookstore in Worcester, Mass is closing after 46 years. From the Telegram.
And A Small Town Bookstore in Estonia. “Operating a bookstore in the town of about 20,000 has always been an idealistic venture,” said the co-owner. From ERR.
Earlier this week, I reported on a panel (on which I was a participant last week) sponsored by the NBCC called Book Reviews, Revamped. An observant audience member and writer for the international literature publication Words Without Borders picked up on a thread from the panel’s discussion, spurred by a question from another audience member, about why so little literature in translation is reviewed.
In his post, the writer, David Varno, rounds up the various panelists’ comments on literature in translation, including this especially interesting bit from Library Journal‘s Barbara Hoffert, in which she explains why more translated lit is popping up on library shelves.
Here’s more from Varno’s post:
Barbara Hoffert, editor of Library Journal‘s PrePub Alert, is covering more books than she used to, and much earlier than she used to, sometimes nine months in advance. Among the areas that she is able to give more coverage to is literature in translation, and she explained how libraries are able to expand the market for translated books because of novels like Stieg Larsson’s. Apparently, now that more readers are becoming comfortable with reading in translation, librarians are able to turn their patrons onto books from other authors who write in the language from which a very successful book originated.
So here’s today’s question–do you think the climate is better or worse for translated literature these days? Are you seeing more translated books? Are American readers more interested in reading them? Are e-books having any effect? We’d love to hear from you.