September 25, 2013

Columbus, Ohio publisher Two Dollar Radio is branching into the world of movies with their own “micro-budget film division,” Two Dollar Radio Movie Pictures. The division has already optioned two movies and plans to bring in more with money raised through crowdsourcing and incentives from authors like Grace Krilanovich, Scott McClanahan, Barbara Browning, and Joshua Mohr. Here’s a trailer for the project:

Is it a fact that Amazon is killing off independent booksellers? Perhaps not, argues Nate Hoffeider at “The Digital Reader” blog. Hoffeider crunched the membership numbers for the indie-friendly nonprofit the American Booksellers Association and found that numbers had been steadily increasing since 2009. In 2012, they had 1,567 members, up from 1,401 in 2009. To explain the increase, Hoffeider contends that indie bookstores have “regained and/or relearned the abilities that Amazon can’t match,” such as in-store readings, promoting small publishers, and helping people learn about new authors.

A scholar at a university in England has discovered a lost short story that Ian McEwan wrote in the 1970s. According to the Guardian, “Untitled” is “about a doctor who specializes in maiming men at the behest of their wives.”

A copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass owned by Breaking Bad character Walter White is up for auction now that the show has ended. The book is inscribed with the phrase “To my other favorite WW,” and the auction catalog notes that “the inscription leads to some serious consequences when Walt’s brother-in-law, DEA Agent Hank Schrader, reads it (oddly enough, while sitting in the bathroom at Walt’s house). Walt mentions the book several times in the series, and searches frantically for it in the 9th episode of the final season.” Bids start at three thousand dollars.

In this week’s edition of the New York Times Book Review’s new Bookends feature—which asks authors to take on a controversial question—Mohsin Hamid and Zoe Heller weigh in on whether our culture is too obsessed with the idea that characters “be likable.”

February 5, 2014 is the centennial of William S. Burroughs birth, and Burroughs 100 kicks off the celebration with a fittingly loopy essay by Burroughs’s friend, editor, and literary executor James W. Gruerholz. Over the next year, the site will continue to post essays, artwork, and news about the Beat forefather.

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