Best American Essays Data Project, Reading Leads to Longer Life, and More


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:

The online nonfiction journal Assay has launched an essay data project, which features a searchable database of all of the writers, essays, and journals published in the Best American Essays anthology from 1986 to the present. The database will be updated as new issues are published.

According to a new report in Social Science & Medicine, reading books may lead to a longer life. The study found that compared to those who don’t read books, people who read for up to three and a half hours a week were 17 percent less likely to die over twelve years of follow-up. (New York Times)

Forbes has released its annual list of the highest paid authors for 2016. James Patterson topped the list for the third year in a row, earning $95 million, with children’s author Jeff Kinney coming in at a distant second, earning $19.5 million. Earnings were tabulated pretax from June 2015 and June 2016.

Speaking of James Patterson, the best-selling author has teamed up with Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly to release a children’s book for charity. Geared towards five-year-olds, Give Please a Chance will be published by Little, Brown in November. (Page Six)

“America, the beautiful!” This statement certainly holds true for our nation’s libraries. Tech Insider takes a look at some of the most beautiful libraries in all fifty states

Since its release on July 31, J. K. Rowling’s eighth Harry Potter story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, has already sold an estimated two million copies in the United States and Canada alone. (Yahoo! Finance)

A new month means new book releases. Flavorwire recommends ten books released in August, including titles from Colson Whitehead, Jesymn Ward, Jacqueline Woodson, and more.

At Electric Literature, novelist and essayist Leigh Stein discusses her memoir, Land of Enchantment, which examines the complex cycle of emotionally abusive relationships. Land of Enchantment is out now from Plume.