Hilary Mantel

Simon and Schuster is going to become the first of the Big Six publishers to get into self-publishing. The house announced today that it’s working with the Indiana-based company Author Solutions Inc. to launch a new self-publishing imprint called Archway Publishing.

Why do so many great books have bad endings? It could be the need to wind down a plot, a latent conservatism. Or, as Joan Acocella speculates, it could be because the author simply is tired.

In an interview on NPR's Fresh Air, Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel reflects on the status of executions in sixteenth-century England (they were reserved for aristocrats), having a rare health condition that resulted in massive weight gain, and on her nonfictional approach to writing historical fiction.

Discovered in today's internet trawling: the blog of unnecessary quotation marks.

The New York Times presents its list of the one hundred most notable books of 2012.

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