The Man Booker Prize committee has released the longlist of this year’s finalists, twelve novels that, in the committee's description, span “goodness, madness and bewildering urban change.” Nominees include Will Self, Ned Beauman, Jeet Thayil, Deborah Levy, and Hilary Mantel, who is the only previous winner on the list. A full list of the books—as well as excerpts—is available at The Millions.
First there was HBO, now there’s Random House Television. The publisher announced on Wednesday that it’s pairing up with FremantleMedia to launch the new arm, which will “focus on creating and developing television content from Random House books.”
While other publishers are closing, Oxford University Press seems to be on the upswing. The university press topped one billion in sales last year—a ten percent increase from the year before—with particular growth in South America, South Asia, and the Middle East.
Lev Grossman reviews a book that he hates so much he won’t even name it. All he tells us is that “it’s a novel. It’s by a writer who is generally described as Great, but who I’ve always personally felt is Pretty Good When He’s Really On His Game, Which Was Like For One Book, But Generally Speaking He’s Really Not That Good At All.” (What is it? Any guesses?) Meanwhile, Jen Doll considers how book hate-reads are different from internet hate-reads, and whether anybody other than a professional reviewer would finish a book they really, really didn’t like.
All it took was a cease-and-desist letter from Jack Daniel’s to help an unknown author see his sales skyrocket. Patrick Wensink received the warning letter last week, after the whiskeymaker contacted him about changing the cover of his novel, Broken Piano for President, which does bear a striking resemblance to a certain brand of Tennessee spirits. Wensink posted the letter online, it promptly went viral, and his book soon followed. According to the New York Times, it peaked at #33 on Amazon.
Director Mira Nair’s adaptation of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, based on the 2007 novel by Mohsin Hamid, has been selected to screen out of competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival.