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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Lewis’

Authors Making a Name for Brands

Ron Barrett for the New York Times

Ron Barrett for the New York Times

“Cultivating Thought” is a series of captivating short pieces written by ten noted authors, from Nobel prize winner Toni Morrison to Malcolm Gladwell, printed on Chipolte cups and bags and meant to be read in two minutes. They were the brainchild of Everything is Illuminated writer Jonathan Safran Foer.

In the New York Times, Teddy Wayne looks at “the branding of literature,” companies turning to “literary luminaries to form a collective ‘spokescribe’” as the perfect pitchmen. It can work well for the writers, too. According to Wayne, Moneyball author Michael Lewis told Conan O’Brien on “Conan,” “It pays very well to write a Chipolte cup.”

Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of eyewear company Warby Parker–two names picked from Jack Kerouac’s unpublished journals–told the Times, “We wanted to build a brand that stood for fun, creativity and doing good in the world, and we thought writers best represented that.”

It’s not a match made in corporate heaven for all authors. “Not everyone is willing to be the face (or prose) of a brand,” writes Wayne. Elliott Holt saw her first novel You are One of Them pubbed last year. When a company sought her out to endorse an e-cig (vape, anyone?), she declined.

“‘I felt like being the face of some product would somehow cheapen me as a writer,’ she said, also expressing her reservations about the merchandise’s potential health risks. The offer of $30,000 still gnaws at her, though.”

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List of ‘Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors’ Unveiled

rowlingHollywood has been chasing after popular books for inspiration. Titles such as the Harry Potter seriesThe Hunger Games trilogy, and The Fault in our Stars novel have been transformed into blockbluster film franchises.

At this point in time, a diverse array of adaptation projects are being developed for YouTube, Hulu, and the silver screen. In recognition of book creators, The Hollywood Reporter has crafted a list of “Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors.”

J.K. Rowling claimed the number one spot because arguably speaking, “no single creator has had so much influence on a megafranchise since George Lucas and the original Star Wars trilogy.” We’ve posted the list of the top 10 authors below—what do you think?

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Fast Food Gets Literary: Jonathan Safran Foer Curates Writing For Chipotle Packaging

chipotlebagsYou might think that eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill is a little bit low brow. But they want to change that. The fast food chain is now featuring original essays written by influential writers on its restaurant packaging.

The author series is called “Cultivating Thought.” Jonathan Safran Foer curated the list of contributors. Participating writers will include:  Judd ApatowSheri FinkMalcolm GladwellBill HaderMichael LewisToni MorrisonSteve PinkerGeorge Saunders and Sarah Silverman. The pieces are all meant to be read in two minutes. The idea is to entertain people while they are scarfing down a burrito.

Here is an excerpt from Malcolm Gladwell’s Two-Minute Barn-Raising:

I grew up in Canada, in an area of Ontario where there is a large community of Old-Order Mennonites. “Old Orders,” as they are known, are a religious group who live as if the 20th century never happened. They avoid electricity, drive horses and buggies, leave school at 16, and bail hay by hand. They dress in plain black and white, with straw hats over clean-shaven faces, and when a neighbor’s barn burns down, they gather as a community to put it back up. When I was little, not long after we moved to Ontario, my father heard about a barn-raising down the road. He decided to join in.

‘Insurgent’ Leads Apple’s Top Paid iBooks List

insurgentVeronica Roth‘s Insurgent has returned to the top of Apple’s Top Paid iBooks in the U.S. this week, after being knocked out by Michael LewisFlash Boys last week.

Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for week ending 4/14. Veronica Roth still has a stronghold on the list, with books in the top three positions on the list.

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

Michael Lewis, Mo Willems, & Emma Donoghue Debut on the Indie Bestseller List

Flash Boys Mech 3p_r3.REV.for cat.inddWe’ve collected the books debuting on Indiebound’s Indie Bestseller List for the week ending April 06, 2014–a sneak peek at the books everybody will be talking about next month.

(Debuted at #1 in Hardcover Nonfiction) Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis: “Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post–financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets.” (March 2014)

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Michael Lewis Claims the Stock Market is Rigged in New Book

Moneyball author Michael Lewis has a new book coming out about Wall Street called Flash Boys, in which he claims that the stock market is rigged.

In the book from W. W. Norton & Company, Lewis illustrates how high-frequency trading in the financial markets have caused the problem. Lewis was on 60 Minutes last night to discuss the issue. We’ve embedded the CBS interview above so that you can check it out.

Al Zuckerman Steps Down as Writers House Chairman

Literary agent Al Zuckerman will no longer serve as chairman of Writers House, the major agency he founded in 1974.

Current Writers House president Amy Berkower will serve as the new chairman and Simon Lipskar will be the agency’s president. Zuckerman will maintain his list of authors, including: Ken Follett, Stephen Hawking, Michael Lewis and the estates of Hermann Hesse.

Here’s more about his career, from the release: “Under his guidance, Writers House has grown from a closet-like space on West 42nd Street in New York City to two Victorian buildings on West 26th Street erected for the Astor family in 1872, with offices also in London and San Diego. Its staff has grown from one to 43, eight of whom have been with the company for more than 25 years.”

‘Hugo’ Nominated for 11 Academy Awards

Martin Scorsese‘s award winning adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick has lead the Academy Award nominations this year, earning 11 Oscar nominations.

We’ve embedded the trailer above–what did you think of the film? Earlier this year, we wrote about Selznick’s personalized tours of the American Museum of Natural History.

The Best Picture nominees included a host of adapted novels. Below, we’ve linked to free samples of books adapted into Best Picture-nominated films.

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Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Unveiled

Today Amazon opened the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, allowing Amazon Prime members to rent up to one digital book per month with no due date. The library includes 5,000 titles, ranging from three books by Michael Lewis to Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games trilogy to Sara Gruen‘s Water for Elephants.

The library books can only be read on Amazon Kindle devices: the Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard or Kindle Fire–excluding readers on mobile devices and rival tablets. Customers can sign up for the $79-a-year Amazon Prime membership to access the library.

Amazon was frank about the terms of the deal with publishers: “Titles in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library come from a range of publishers under a variety of terms.  For the vast majority of titles, Amazon has reached agreement with publishers to include titles for a fixed fee.  In some cases, Amazon is purchasing a title each time it is borrowed by a reader under standard wholesale terms as a no-risk trial to demonstrate to publishers the incremental growth and revenue opportunity that this new service presents.”

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Amazon Books Editors Pick Top 10 Fall Releases

The Amazon books editors unveiled their top ten picks of the biggest releases coming out this fall.

Senior editor Chris Schluep had this statement: “This is one of the best seasons for literary novels to come along in several years … We’ve highlighted Murakami and Eugenides in our Amazon Editors’ Top 10, as well as three of the finest debuts–by Amy Waldman, Erin Morgenstern, and Chad Harbach–to come across our desks in a long time.”

We’ve listed all the books below–what books are you looking forward to this fall?

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