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Archives: September 2011

Grammar PSA: Stop Abusing the Word ‘Literally’

We have another Grammar Public Service Announcement today: stop abusing the word “literally” in your writing.

Here’s more about the misuse of literally: “This is such a widely known misused word that examples are less common, as most people know to avoid the term – which should be used to describe something that is actually happening (for example, ‘He literally danced with joy.’) but should not be used for emphasis (‘Steam was literally coming out of his ears.’)”

Earlier this month, we warned writers against using the controversial word, “irregardless.” Our sibling blog eBookNewser shared today’s tip, linking to a list of the Top 10 Misused Words. What’s your favorite word that everybody abuses? (Literal dead end photograph via MorrowLess)

Hector Sierra Named General Manager at National Geographic

Hector Sierra has been promoted from chief operating officer to general manager and senior vice president at National Geographic‘s books publishing group.

Sierra will manage and supervise business operations and global sales activities for the trade and digital publishing divisions.

Here’s more from the release: “Prior to joining National Geographic in 2000, he held positions with Simon and Schuster and John Wiley & Sons.  He holds a BA in accounting from City University of New York, Baruch College and an MBA in international business from Pace University.”

Banned Book Party & How I Learned Get Booked

Here are some literary events to spice up your week. To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page.

Crank series author Ellen Hopkins will headline an event in honor of Banned Books Week. See her on Wednesday, September 28th at the NYPL Grand Central Library starting 4:30 p.m. (New York, NY)

Mike Edison will be hosting his fourth annual Banned Book Party. Join the fun on Wednesday, September 28th at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe starting at 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

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Lonely Planet Launches $4.99 Offline Translator App

Mixing travel book publishing and useful mobile apps, Lonely Planet has just launched the Lonely Planet Offline Translator (video embedded above). The $4.99 app works on Apple and Android devices. It is currently available for Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Iraqi Arabic, and Tagalog.

Travel books and dictionaries will never go out of style–despite tremendous advances in mobile technology, many cell phones get spotty or expensive coverage while traveling. The new app will work without an Internet connection, turning an out-of-service phone into a translation tool.

Here’s more from the release: “Lonely Planet Offline Translator acts as your own personal translator, providing bespoke translations based on what the user has typed or spoken into the phone … Initially launching in eight languages, the app translates words, phrases or whole sentences into immediate audio or text translations. Designed specifically for travelers, the app utilizes over 40,000 words for its translations. It also features a completely searchable dictionary.”

Andy Rooney To Retire ’60 Minutes’ Segments

CBS has announced that Andy Rooney will stop doing his weekly segments on 60 Minutes. Rooney will do his last regular appearance on this week’s episode.

TVNewser has more: “Rooney, who began his whimsical end-of-show pieces in 1978, was MIA from last week’s 44th-season premiere. Rooney turns 93 in January. He moves slowly, and his hearing and sight are not what they used to be.”

Known for being a curmudgeon, Rooney has a knack for criticizing modern technologies. Last season, he did a segment criticizing eBooks. eBookNewser has more: “‘I want my words in books,’ he said, meaning print books. Rooney said that he loves keeping his books behind him, so that he can reach out and touch them. ‘I can’t imagine not being able to open my books and leaf through them,’ he said.”

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Will Amazon Unveil a New Tablet Today?

Amazon is hosting a press conference in New York City today, where we expect them to announce a new tablet device.  To find out about the Amazon tablet as the news breaks, follow our live coverage on eBookNewser at 10 am ET.

Both Barnes & Noble and Kobo are rumored to have new tablets coming out in time for the holiday season. The Kobo Vox, which showed up on the FCC site this month, is described as an eReader tablet.

eBookNewser has more about the new Nook tablet: “According to a confidential Barnes & Noble business plan slide that we have seen, the retailer has will have three eReaders available for sale in the fourth quarter. The Smart Touch for $139, which is already available, as well as two Nook Colors — the Encore and the Acclaim, which will cost $249 and $349 respectively. The Encore is the name of the Nook Color which is already available for $249, but the Acclaim is a new product not currently available.”

Wangari Maathai Has Died

Writer Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, has passed away. She was 71-years-old.

According to the AFP, Maathai (pictured, via) founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental-activist group, in 1977. Her work provided the inspiration for several books including The Green Belt Movement: sharing the approach and the experience (1985), The Canopy of Hope: My Life Campaigning for Africa, Women, and the Environment (2002) and Unbowed: A Memoir (2006).

In an interview with Time , she explained how her work helps to promote peace: “We are sharing our resources in a very inequitable way. We have parts of the world that are very deprived and parts of the world that are very rich. And that is partly the reason why we have conflict.”

Shel Silverstein, Rob Suskind & Denis Johnson Debut on the Indie Bestseller List

We’ve collected the books debuting on Indiebound’s Indie Bestseller List for the week ending September 25, 2011–a sneak peek at the books everybody will be talking about next month.

(Debuted at #1 in Children’s Interest) Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein: “Have you ever read a book with everything on it? Well, here it is, an amazing collection of never-before-published poems and drawings from the creator ofWhere the Sidewalk EndsA Light in the Attic, and Falling Up. You will say Hi-ho for the toilet troll, get tongue-tied with Stick-a-Tongue-Out-Sid, play a highly unusual horn, and experience the joys of growing down.” (September 2011)

(Debuted at #3 in Hardcover Nonfiction) Confidence Men by Ron Suskind: “The hidden history of Wall Street and the White House comes down to a single, powerful, quintessentially American concept: confidence. Both centers of power, tapping brazen innovations over the past three decades, learned how to manufacture it. Until August 2007, when that confidence finally began to crumble.” (September 2011)

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Thomas Pynchon Has 10/1 Odds of Winning Nobel Prize

award.jpgAs the 2011 Nobel Prize announcement nears, the U.K. betting site Ladbrokes has posted odds for the prize–putting Thomas Pynchon at 10/1 odds to win the prize for literature.

According to Ladbrokes, the Syrian poet Adonis has the best odds (4/1) to win the award. Swedish author Tomas Transtromer has 9/2 odds and Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami trails at 16/1.

Here is a brief excerpt from “The Edge of the World” by Adonis: “I release the earth and I imprison the skies. I fall down in order to stay faithful to the light, in order to make the world ambiguous, fascinating, changeable, dangerous, in order to announce the steps beyond.” (Via Guardian Books)

Andrea Cremer Lands Book Deal for YA Steampunk Series

Nightshade trilogy author Andrea Creamer has inked a deal with Penguin Group (USA)’s Philomel imprint for a new YA steampunk series.

The first book, titled The Inventor’s Secret, is slated for publication in fall 2013. Executive editor Jill Santopolo negotiated the deal with InkWell Management literary agents Richard Pine and Charlie Olsen.

Here’s more from the release: “The series is set in an alternate nineteenth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery…As part of the deal, Philomel has also acquired a second prequel to Nightshade entitled RISE, which is scheduled for publication in summer 2013. The first prequel to Nightshade,entitled RIFT, is scheduled for publication in fall 2012.” (Photo Credit: Gina Monroe)

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