To celebrate its tenth anniversary, AbeBooks recently compiled a list of the ten most expensive used books that have been sold on its Web site since 1996. The list includes a first edition of The Hobbit, published in 1937. The book, one of only 1,500 copies printed, sold for $65,000. A copy of the first collection of John Donne’s poems, published in 1633, sold for $60,000. And an inscribed copy of George Orwell’s 1984 sold for $26,500.
Daily News from Poets & Writers
The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) and Small Press Distribution (SPD) have "entered into a formal strategic partnership" to "maximize limited resources," Jeffrey Lependorf, the executive director of CLMP, recently announced. Lependorf has assumed the directorship...
Random House recently announced that it will raise the amount of recycled paper it uses to print its books from 3 percent to 30 percent over the next four years.
Best-selling author Barbara Kingsolver recently announced that Hillary Jordan won the 2006 Bellwether Prize for Fiction for her unpublished novel “Mudbound.”
Playboy recently named the twenty-five sexiest novels ever written. The list of works “famous for being dirty books for decades” includes Norman Mailer’s An American Dream (Dial Press, 1965).
Toni Morrison’s Beloved (Knopf, 1987) was recently named “the single best work of American fiction published in the last twenty-five years,” according to a survey of several hundred writers, critics, and editors conducted by New York Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus.
Book production in the U.S. last year totaled 172,000 titles, a decrease from 2004 of 18,000 titles, or nearly ten percent, according to a recent study by R. R. Bowker, the publisher of the Books in Print database and the official agency for assigning ISBNs in the United States.
The Litblog Co-op, an online cooperative of twenty-one literary blogs created in 2005 to promote books of contemporary fiction, recently chose Television (Dalkey Archive Press, 2004), a novel by French writer Jean-Philippe Toussaint, translated by Jordan Stump, as the Spring 2006 selection for its Read This! program.
Turn up the music, put down the air guitar, and start writing some poetry about rock and roll. That seems to be the message that the sponsors of a new poetry prize are trying to relay.
The Guardian, the British newspaper founded in 1821, recently compiled a list of the top fifty film adaptations of books.
The finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were recently announced. Given for books published in the previous year, the annual prizes are worth $1,000 each.
Malachy McCourt, the creative nonfiction writer, actor, and brother of Angela’s Ashes author Frank McCourt, recently announced that he is seeking the Green Party nomination to run for governor of New York.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters recently inducted poet Frank Bidart and fiction writers Paul Auster and Lorrie Moore into the 250-member organization.
The NCAA college basketball tournament recently ended, but the second annual Tournament of Books—a literary showdown between sixteen novels sponsored by the Morning News and Powells.com—is still going strong.
Lagardère SCA, the French conglomerate that in February purchased the Time Warner Book Group from Time Warner, Inc. for $537.5 million, recently announced that the U.S. book division’s new name is Hachette Book Group USA.
Luis Alberto Urrea and Piers Vitebsky were recently named winners of the 2006 Kiriyama Prize. Urrea won in fiction for his novel The Hummingbird’s Daughter (Little, Brown) and Vitebsky won in creative nonfiction for his book The Reindeer People: Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia (Houghton Mifflin). The winners split the $30,000 award.
Led by council speaker Christine Quinn, members of the New York City Council recently honored poet John Ashbery for his “literary and cultural contributions” by designating April 7 as “John Ashbery Day” in the city.
Last month Businessweek, the Web site of the weekly business magazine, published a list of the ten best cities in the United States for artists, including creative writers. Los Angeles topped the list, followed by Santa Fe, New Mexico; Carson City, Nevada; New York City; Kingston, New York; Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura, California; Nashville; Boulder, Colorado; San Francisco; and Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York.
Fiction writers Deborah Eisenberg, Mary Gordon, Allan Gurganus, Jim Harrison, Harper Lee, and Annie Proulx were recently inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The 250-member organization was founded in 1898 to "foster, assist, and sustain an interest in literature, music, and the fine arts."
The Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the oldest continuously run poetry bookstore in the United States, was recently sold by owner Louisa Solano.
During the next several months, a number of festivals, exhibitions, and publications will mark the centennial of Samuel Beckett’s birth. Beckett, the poet, novelist, and playwright who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969, was born in Dublin on April 13, 1906.