Housing Works, home of the annual Gin Mingle

What inspires people to start a literary magazine these days? That’s the question the Observer posed to the editors of the American Reader, which celebrated its first issue last week with a flashy launch party in the West Village. With a masthead featuring Ben Marcus, Dean Young, Jeff Dolven, Scott Hamrah, the magazine, whose editor in chief is the 25-year-old Uzoamaka Maduka, is off to a promising start.

Speaking of holiday publishing parties, New York media celebrated itself (and the joys of gin) at the annual Gin Mingle at Housing Works on Tuesday. While most details of the evening were probably lost in the mix, we do know that writer and “physical specimen” Jon-Jon Goulian was on hand to tease New York Daily News with info about his next book-in-progress: “'It’s gonna be non-fiction,'” Goulian said, above the sounds of Devo’s 'Whip It.’ ‘I’ll give you two of the themes—it’s about ballet, and football.’”

R. Kelly tells Fast Company that his brilliant, multi-part "hip-hopera" Trapped in the Closet is going to be adapted into a book.

In the latest issue of the Times Literary Supplement, Christopher de Bellaigue reviews Iranian psychoanalyst Gohar Homayounpour’s Doing Psychoanalysis in Tehran. The book foregrounds attempts to explain how and why “the talking cure has found itself taken to the heart of the Iranian national character.”

Galleycat puts together a “literary mixtape” of the most overlooked books of 2012, complete with free audio samples of the winning books.