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Debut Novelist John Kenney Wins Thurber Prize for American Humor

johnkenneyGuest post written by Kelsey Manning (@kelseyMmanning)

Before Thurber Prize winner John Kenney settled in to read a selection from his novel Truth in Advertising, he had a few words for his fellow finalist:

“Dear David Letterman, Please let me win this award. Just this one. We need the money.”

It was one of many hilarious moments during last night’s presentation of the 2013 Thurber Prize for American Humor. David Letterman attended alongside co-writer Bruce McCall on behalf of their book This Land Was Made for You and Me (But Mostly Me). In the absence of third finalist Liza Donnelly (Women on Men), her husband Michael Maslin spoke about how much James Thurber means to them, especially as New Yorker cartoonists themselves. The pair’s first date was to see a James Thurber drawing at the Armory on the East Side.

In the true spirit of the night, Truth in Advertising author John Kenney joked, “My first flight wasn’t to the Thurber House or my first date, but I was conceived there.” It was easy to see why the Thurber Prize judges—Meg Wolitzer, John Searles, and Henry Alford—were so taken by the wit in Kenney’s debut. Read more

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Cover Revealed For New Sara Gruen Novel

At the Water's Edge

Water For Elephants novelist Sara Gruen has penned a new book entitled At the Water’s Edge. The jacket was unveiled today—what do you think?

According to the Water For Elephants movie fan page, the story features “a privileged young woman’s moral and sexual awakening as she experiences the devastations of World War II in a Scottish Highland village.” Spiegel & Grau, an imprint at Penguin Random House, will release the book on June 02, 2015.

How To Turn Your Book into a Pumpkin

Fall is here! Don’t feel like carving up a traditional jack-o’-lantern from a pumpkin? YouTuber Lacey Keith shares an alternative idea with DIY book-themed pumpkins.

If you want to make a pumpkin statue of your own, watch the video tutorial embedded above. For those who wish to play with a gourd, follow this link to view Nan Nethery’s “Pumpkin Book Characters” pinterest board. What book-themed Autumn decorations do you enjoy making?

Gregory Maguire’s Next Book Has An ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Connection

Gregory MaguireWhen we last spoke with author Gregory Maguire, he told us he planned to sit in a “big long white noise period” to coax out his muse. He recently revealed that he has been working on an adult book with “an Alice in Wonderland connection.”

In an interview with School Library Journal, Maguire (pictured, via) mostly talks about fairy tales and his recently released young adult title, Egg and Spoon. At the very end, he offers a teasing snippet about his new project.

In the past, Maguire has written novels inspired by ”Cinderella,” “Snow White,” The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and A Christmas Carol. How do you predict he will remix Lewis Carroll’s beloved fantasy story?

Lena Dunham’s Wild Ride – Reinventing the Book Tour

lena-300x300She’s got ‘Portlandia’ star Carrie Brownstein and novelist Zadie Smith, ‘Prep” and ‘American Wife’ author Curtis Sittenfeld, poetry, live music, and food trucks, plus a set of artists whose videos she screened in bed. The ‘happenings’ sold nearly 8,000 tickets in less than a week. Starting today in New York City, Lena Dunham begins her 11-city ‘traveling circus of sorts that seems more like a roving Burning Man festival’ than a book tour, notes the New York Times. Lena told the Times:

‘I found the idea of a traditional author tour, where you go and stand behind the lectern and talk about yourself, I found it a little bit embarrassing, a little blatantly self-promotional and a little boring. I wanted it to have an arts festival feel, which is why we now have all these remarkable, special weirdos who I found on the Internet.’

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Eric Schmidt & Margaret Atwood Debut On the Indie Bestseller List

How Google WorksWe’ve collected the books debuting on Indiebound’s Indie Bestseller List for the week ending September 28, 2014–a sneak peek at the books everybody will be talking about next month.

(Debuted at #7 in Hardcover Nonfiction) How Google Works by Eric Schmidt, III & Jonathan Rosenberg: “The authors explain how technology has shifted the balance of power from companies to consumers, and that the only way to succeed in this ever-changing landscape is to create superior products and attract a new breed of multifaceted employees whom Eric and Jonathan dub ‘smart creatives.’” (September 2014)

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Philip Weinstein to Pen Jonathan Franzen Biography

franzenAuthor Philip Weinstein plans to pen a biography profiling writer Jonathan Franzen. Reportedly, Franzen himself has given his “blessing” for this project.

Bloomsbury will publish Jonathan Franzen: The Comedy of Rage in Fall 2015. Weinstein has conducted a two-hour interview with Franzen; he will also source information from Franzen’s autobiographical essays. The book will also include an analysis of the new novel that Franzen has been working on.

In an interview with The New York Times, Weinstein explains the concept of the book: “It doesn’t pretend to be a full-scale biography. It’s too early for that. He’s in full career mode. Someone later, a generation from now, will do that biography. It’s a report on who he is.” (via Gawker)

‘The Fault in Our Stars’ Gets Banned in Riverside Middle Schools

tfioscoverJohn Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has been banned in the middle schools within the Riverside Unified School District (based in California).

Vanity Fair reports that a parent named Karen Krueger raised a complaint against the popular young adult novel because she “felt the morbid plot, crude language, and sexual content was inappropriate for her children.” Krueger convinced a committee of educators and guardians put it to a vote which resulted in this act of censorship.

Green shared his reaction to this situation on Tumblr. He claims to feel both happy and sad; the sadness comes from a desire “to introduce the idea that human beings die to the children of Riverside, California and thereby crush their dreams of immortality.” What do you think?

How Long Would it Take You to Read the ‘Harry Potter’ Series?: INFOGRAPHIC

blinkboxHow long would it take you to read J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series from start to finish? Blinkbox Books, a digital book retailer, has created an interactive infographic for readers who wish to test their reading speed.

Thus far, more than 100,000 people have taken this quiz. Try it out for yourself—we’ve embedded the entire infographic below.

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Simon & Schuster Forms Partnership With Mofibo

simon-and-shusterSimon & Schuster has formed a partnership with a European eBook subscription service called Mofibo.

Mofibo users, who hail from Denmark and Sweden, now have access to Simon & Schuster’s backlist. This formidable collection contains more than 20,000 English and local language titles.

Simon & Schuster UK publisher Ian Chapman had this statement in the press release: “Scandinavia has long been an important international market for English language authors, and Mofibo’s early success makes evident the strong appetite for content in electronic form. A continental-based subscription service is a wonderful opportunity for reader, author, and publisher alike.”

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