Books for Troops, Shalom Auslander Asks a Favor, 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:

Writer Paul Malmont is promoting a holiday book drive to send reading material to soldiers stationed overseas. “We’re starting a new effort to raise some books for a holiday delivery to troops. We’re looking for boxes of new books from authors and publishers—audio books are particularly welcome to injured soldiers in hospitals.  If anyone is interested they can reach out to us warriorlibrary [at] gmail [dot] com.” (GalleyCat)

This morning marked the North American release of the much-anticipated Haruki Murakami novel, 1Q84. In an interview with the book's translator, Philip Gabriel, the Atlantic details the process of translating Japanese prose into English. (And for an interview with Chip Kidd who designed 1Q84's cover, check out Clips.)

Meanwhile, Shelf Awareness highlights a midnight release party for 1Q84 at the New York City bookstore, Three Lives & Company.

Beating out sports stars, musicians, and supermodels, Africa's most influential celebrity is Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, according to Forbes. (Los Angeles Times)

Writer Shalom Auslander's first novel, Hope: A Tragedy, is coming out in January, and for his book trailers, he asks John Hodgman, Sarah Vowell, and This American Life host Ira Glass for a huge favor. (New York Magazine)

In an essay for Poetry magazine, Chicago attorney Jerry Boyle compares practicing law with writing poetry, and says, "Lawyers have a lot to learn from poets."

Have you ever heard a reader criticize a book saying the main character was "unlikable?" From Humbert Humbert to Othello, novelist Lionel Shriver writes an impassioned defense of despicable characters. (Slate)

Which is better for you, e-books or print? According to a recent German study, the answer is neither. (Mashable)