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‘Private Down Under’ Joins iBooks Bestsellers List

lg-privateDownUnderPPBPrivate Down Under by James Patterson & Michael White has joined Apple’s Top Paid iBooks in the U.S. this week at No. 4.

Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for week ending 9/1/14. If I Stay by Gayle Forman continues to lead the list, followed by Mean Streak by Sandra Brown.

We’ve included Apple’s entire list after the jump. Read more

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Seven Year-Old Aims to Publish Anti-Gun Book

kidsatheartpublishingIndiana seven-year-old Terry Miles is writing a book about gun violence and with help from his teacher Ball State University student Brittany Cain. The work will be self-published published as an eBook.

The Shot Heard Around the Town: A Story About How One Boy Can Change the World stems from a letter that Miles wrote to the mayor of Muncie telling about gun violence in his neighborhood. He wrote: “Dear Mayor, I have a problem. I have been hearing gunshots in my neighborhood. Can you make them stop?” which ran in The Star Press. You can watch a news report about Miles here.

As part of a class project, Cain wants to help Miles publish the eBook through Kids at Heart Publishing company, a self-publishing services company that helps self-published authors publish and promote their books for a fee. Miles is currently seeking donations to help fund the project. Huffer Memorial Children’s Center is accepting donations on his behalf. (Via The Star Press).

Art Students Rewrite American Psycho Using Google Ads

americanpsychoArt students Mimi Cabell and Jason Huff, wanted to explore how Google’s ad scanning technology would react to a series of email exchanges depicting violence and racism.

So they emailed each other the original text of Brett Easton Ellis’ novel American Psycho, page by page, to see what kinds of products would be marketed to them. They have turned the project into a book that includes Ellis’ original chapter titles along with the ads that ran next to each email and their own footnotes. The text essentially retells American Psycho via relational Google Ads.

What kinds of ads would run next to graphic depictions of rape and murder sent through a Gmail conversation? Cabell explains on her website: “In one scene, where first a dog and then a man are brutally murdered with a knife, Google supplied ample ads regarding knives and knife sharpeners. In another scene the ads disappeared altogether when the narrator makes a racial slur. Google’s choice and use of standard ads unrelated to the content next to which they appeared offered an alternate window into how Google ads function — the ad for Crest Whitestrips Coupons appeared the highest number of times, next to both the most graphic and the most mundane sections of the book, leaving no clear logic as to how it was selected to appear. This “misreading” ultimately echoes the hollowness at the center of advertising and consumer culture, a theme explored in excess in American Psycho.”  (Via Electric Literature).

The Guardian Publishes Unreleased Chapter of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

charlieandthechocolateRoald Dahl‘s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and the occasion has brought about a controversial new book cover, a golden ticket sweepstakes and now the unearthing of a previously unreleased chapter of the book.

“The Vanilla Fudge Room” is a chapter that was edited out of the book from an early draft. The Guardian has published the chapter. Check it out:

They went into another cavernous room, and here again a really splendid sight met their eyes.

In the centre of the room there was an actual mountain, a colossal jagged mountain as high as a five-storey building, and the whole thing was made of pale-brown, creamy, vanilla fudge. All the way up the sides of the mountain, hundreds of men were working away with picks and drills, hacking great hunks of fudge out of the mountainside; and some of them, those that were high up in dangerous places, were roped together for safety.

Nick Cannon is Writing Book of Children’s Poems

nickcannonActor/rapper Nick Cannon is working on a book of children’s poems which is due out from Scholastic in March 2015.

The illustrated poetry book is called Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems. The title was written for kids age 7 with poems about silly, disgusting and even serious matters. It will feature black-and-white illustrations by a number of street artists including: Art Mobb, Califawnia, Captain Kris, Morf,Queen Andrea, MAST and Mike P. 

“Writing is at the center of everything I do as an artist. Doing creative writing—especially writing poetry—is when I felt the calmest and freest. As a kid, it was my escape from the inner-city pitfalls,” explains Cannon in a statement. “The first important writer in my life was Shel Silverstein—he made me fall in love with writing and seeing his whimsical sketches got me interested in art. When I was eight years old, I got a spiral notebook and wrote my first poem/rap. I filled that notebook with poems, rhymes, jokes, and witty stories. I still keep one to this day. I hope that poems in Neon Aliens will help inspire kids to want to get out a pen and paper to write or draw their own thoughts, rhymes, and stories.”

Haruki Murakami’s New Novella is Coming From Knopf in December

thestrangelibrary

Japanese author Haruki Murakami has a new novella in the works which will be published by Knopf on December 2nd.

The Strange Library, a 96-page story, is about a young man’s strange trip to the library. Check it out:

On his way home from school, the young narrator of The Strange Library finds himself wondering how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. He pops into the local library to see if it has a book on the subject. Once there, he is led to a special ‘reading room’ by a strange old man. The boy is imprisoned at the library and forced to memorize massive volumes of books. What will the boy do when he realizes that his captor intends to absorb his knowledge by eating his brain? With the help of a mysterious girl and a man dressed as a sheep, he hatches a plan to escape.

Murakami is on a roll. The novelist released a new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, last month.

Forrest Gander Remixes a Beyoncé Interview Into a Poem

Queen BeyPoet Forrest Gander has created a poetry remix piece called “Bey The Light.” The words were sourced from an interview that diva Beyoncé gave to Dominic Teja Sidhu and Christopher Bartley.

The piece is featured in the recently released issue of CR Fashion Book alongside a photo spread. Beyoncé (pictured, via) did not know that her interview responses would be constructed into a poem. Follow this link to read the full poem.

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3 Writing Tips From Authors at the 2014 National Book Festival

National Book FestOver the weekend, dozens of authors and illustrators appeared at the Library of Congress’ 14th annual National Book Festival. Children’s books creator Bob Staake designed this year’s official poster. We’ve collected three writing tips that some of the writers shared during their panels.

Joey Pigza book series author Jack Gantos suggests that one “stay as organized as possible.” He thinks that one should keep several notebooks. This helps to categorize different thoughts because one idea might be a good fit for the beginning a story and another could work for the middle.

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R.L. Stine to Re-Boot ‘Fear Street’ YA Series

Fear StreetWriter R.L. Stine plans to re-boot his popular Fear Street book series. The last Fear Street title was published back in 1999.

St Martin’s Griffin will release Party Games on September 30th. In an interview with MartiniProductionsNY, Stine revealed that he has 6 more Fear Street books planned for the future. We’ve embedded his announcement on Twitter below.

Here’s more from Bustle: “Stine’s Fear Street series was the YA equivalent to his middle grade series Goosebumps. It was ‘sleep with the lights on’ spooky, and occasionally just skewed the right amount toward silly. (Can I direct your attention to Cat?) The series was a commercial smash, and now it has acquired a cult following from twenty- and thirtysomethings across the country.”

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LeVar Burton Wins the Geek of the Year Award

LeVar Burton has won in the “Geek of the Year” category at the 2nd annual Geekie Awards. He received a special limited edition Gibson guitar as his prize.

The video embedded above features Burton singing the Reading Rainbow theme song and delivering his acceptance speech. What do you think? (via Tech Times)

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