Faber Executive Murdered, Amazon's E-book Rental Service, 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:

David Tebbutt, a Faber and Faber executive, on holiday this past weekend at a Kenyan resort with his wife, Judith, was shot to death by armed bandits, who fled toward Somalia via speed boat, kidnapping Mrs. Tebbutt. The Somali Islamist group Harakat al-Shabab al Mujahideen is suspected of involvement. (Daily Mail)

Amazon is considering launching an e-book rental service modeled on Netflix. (paidContent)

The furniture giant Ikea has altered the design of its Billy bookshelves, adding glass doors for people to display objects rather than books—considering this, and other tidal changes in book culture, the Economist looks at the effects of digitization.

In case you missed the public radio show Selected Shorts this weekend, which features actors reading works of literature, you can catch Alec Baldwin reading Colson Whitehead's essay "Lost and Found" (Whitehead's essay is paired with Haruki Murakami's, “U.F.O. in Kushiro,” read by Ken Leung) via iTunes or the Selected Shorts website. (WNYC)

Poet James Longenbach examines the life and work of T. S. Eliot illuminated by Eliot's collected correspondence. "Judging from the evidence of the letters alone, Eliot would seem to have been one of the unhappiest people who has ever lived." (Nation)

Crossing several mediums: novelist Jonathan Lethem writes the forward to a new book by writer Kevin Avery, Conversations With Clint: Paul Nelson’s Lost Interviews With Clint Eastwood, 19791983 out later this month, which contains a continuing dialogue between the music critic Paul Nelson (who discovered the New York Dolls) and filmmaker Clint Eastwood. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

The rock band Wilco has written a song about novelist Jane Smiley's boyfriend, and GalleyCat wonders why.

Flavorwire has collected full scans of a number of gorgeous old dust jackets from classic novels, including Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury.

If you don't have the poem-a-day iPhone app Poem Flow, check out "The Day I Saw Barack Obama Reading Derek Walcott's Collected Poems" by Yusef Komunyakaa.