Amazon’s Drones, Best Books to Give as Gifts, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories:

Last night on 60 Minutes, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos revealed a delivery system in the works called Prime Air, in which programmed drones deliver goods. (Huffington Post)

Self-loathing is in the writer’s blood. When you’re an artist of any kind, there’s no certainty that what you’re working on won’t be a complete failure.” Michele Filgate considers advice from Jonathan Franzen, Dani Shapiro, Alexander Chee, Elissa Schappell, and others regarding the “vicious trap of self-defeat” that many writers experience. (Salon)

In the New Yorker, Nathan Heller remembers the life and work of Peter Kaplan. The former New York Observer editor died Friday at age fifty-nine.

Kat Stoeffel speaks with poet Jynne Dilling Martin, who is currently Antarctic artist-in-residence through a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation. (New York)

With the holiday shopping season upon us, Jason Diamond rounds up the best books this year to give as gifts, including John Updike’s The Collected Stories. (Flavorwire)

Meanwhile, to usher in Small Business Saturday, President Obama visited his local independent bookstore and picked up James Salter’s All That Is and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, among several others. (Los Angeles Times)

André Schiffrin, veteran Pantheon editor, founder of independent publisher New Press, and outspoken critic of the publishing industry, passed away in France on Sunday. (New York Times)