Barnes & Noble Stock Plunges, A Pandora for Book Lovers, 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:

News that Liberty Media may only invest in Barnes & Noble, rather than purchase the company outright (Financial Times), has sent the bookstore chain's stock into a tailspin. (New York Post)

In the ongoing saga over Internet retailers paying state sales tax, Clark Kepler, the owner of famed independent bookstore, Kepler's Books, in Menlo Park, California, has joined with other business owners in voicing their opposition to Amazon's stance. "I collect sales tax and Amazon has not and that gives them an unfair advantage." (San Jose Mercury News)

The Walt Disney Company has donated five-hundred thousand dollars and eight million books to First Book, a charity that provides new books to kids in need. (Publishers Weekly)

An independent bookstore opened by Christopher Robin Milne (son of Winnie the Pooh author, A. A. Milne) will close after sixty years in business. (Bookseller)

With summer's inevitable end approaching, BookPage lists the twenty-five books they're most excited about for the fall season, from authors including Elissa Schappell, Susan Orlean, and Colson Whitehead.

Joining book-enthusiast websites such as Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Shelfari is the newly launched BookLamp, a service that works similar to Pandora—the streaming music site that uses an algorithm to recommend music based on a listener's likes and dislikes—and intends to "help readers find new books that they will enjoy, based on the writing style and themes of books they have enjoyed in the past." (Huffington Post)

Forbes yesterday released a list of the world's top-earning authors from May 2010 to April 2011. James Patterson topped the pile. If you've ever wondered how James Patterson can churn out so many books (he released ten novels during the period under scrutiny), Forbes reports Patterson "works with a team of co-authors to boost his output." (Guardian)

Today is novelist Jonathan Franzen's birthday. From Franzenfreude to Glassesgate, Galleycat is celebrating the day with all things Franzen.