As the Book World Turns…

Happy Friday book lovers! This one’s for you.


Gore Vidal, “the novelist, essayist, screenwriter and all-around man of letters” was honored yesterday at “at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater on West 45th Street in Manhattan, where Mr. Vidal’s 1960 play “The Best Man,” about a presidential campaign, is currently being revived.” The New York Times reported today, “They heard selections from Mr. Vidal’s work read by the actor Alan Cumming, the filmmaker Michael Moore, and Richard Belzer, who before turning to his text, a 1958 essay in praise of satire, briefly intoned a Hebrew blessing and pretended to take a cellphone call from Mr. Vidal. Gathered around a pair of lecterns, a chorus of sharp-tongued actresses — Ms. Ashley, Ms. Bergen, Ms. Ebersole and Ms. Huston — traded vintage Vidal one-liners: “Envy is the central fact of American life”; “Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little”; and “There is not one human problem that could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.” To read the full NYT article CLICK HERE.


With Michael Gorra’s new biography of Henry James, Portrait of a Novel, recently released, PW and Gorra himself name the top 10 Henry James novels. Number One of course being Portrait of a Lady, the main work discussed in Gorra’s novel. There are some surprises on the list, such as The Tragic Muse which is generally not recognized as one of Jame’s best, coming in at number ten. Check out the full list HERE, and pick up some of these reads today.


Ira Glass we love you so! The famed host of This American Life and co-writer of the new film Sleepwalk With Me sat down with the New York Times for an amazing interview.
What was the last truly great book you read?

Michael Lewis’s The Big Short. God knows he doesn’t need the press: he’s the greatest living nonfiction writer; Brad Pitt stars in the movie adaptations of his books. But The Big Short made me want to give up journalism it’s so good. Scene after scene I felt like, how do you compete with this? He’s telling the story of the mortgage crisis, and his angle couldn’t be better: he follows the guys who knew it was coming and bet on it. This lets him explain how they knew and tell the story through these amazing contrarians and great funny scenes. It’s crazy how funny the book is. And as a story it’s got everything going against it. His characters are rich know-it-alls, but somehow Lewis makes you love them because he loves them. You know how it’s all going to end, but somehow he creates suspense. When the market doesn’t collapse as quickly as his characters think it should, some of them start to wonder: “Am I wrong? Is the whole world right and I’m wrong?” It all climaxes in this amazing, almost hallucinogenic set of scenes at this convention for the mortgage industry in Las Vegas, where our heroes have a series of encounters that make them all realize, no, no, no, they’re not wrong. Everything’s going to collapse. The economy will go to hell. And these people walking around are like zombies who just don’t know they’re doomed.”

To read the rest of the interview Ira Glass: By the Book click HERE.


The LA Times reported a British charity’s call for the burning of 50 Shades of Greythis week. “Wearside Women in Need, which focuses on domestic violence, has asked readers to drop off books for a planned bonfire on Nov. 5.

“I do not think I can put into words how vile I think this book is,” Wearside Women’s Clare Phillipson told the BBC, “and how dangerous I think the idea is that you get a sophisticated but naive, young women and a much richer, abusive older man who beats her up and does some dreadful things to her sexually.”” Read the full article HERE.


We like so many of you have been following the Department of Justice E-Book settlementPW gave us this update this week. “In a motion made Wednesday, the Department of Justice says that arguments made by Apple, Macmillan and Penguin as well as the friend of the court brief filed by the ABA and Barnes & Noble objecting to the final judgment reached between the government and Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster over e-book price fixing charges raise no real new issues and therefore asks that the court approve the agreement without further hearings.
The DoJ maintains that arguments made by the parties that the government doesn’t understand the e-book business is just a variation made by other industries at other times. “While e-books are a relatively new arrival on the publishing scene, a plea for special treatment under the antitrust laws is an old standby,” the DoJ wrote. “Railroads, publishers, lawyers, construction engineers, health care providers, and oil companies are just some of the voices that have raised cries against ‘ruinous competition’ over the decades. Time and time again the courts have rejected the invitation to exempt particular businesses from the reach of the Sherman Act.””  To read the full article CLICK HERE.

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