August 4, 2016

George R. R. Martin. Photo: Henry Söderlund

George R. R. Martin. Photo: Henry Söderlund

The Forbes list of 2016’s highest-paid writers notes that “the written word isn’t dead—although television and movie adaptations often help drive sales.” James Patterson, whose novel Zoo was adapted into a TV series that’s now in its second season, topped the list. Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney came in second, most likely thanks to the slew of movies made from his books. George R. R. Martin placed twelfth with $9.5 million, but Forbes worries that his slow writing pace and the end of the HBO version of Game of Thrones may keep him off the list next year: “His reign may be near its end.”

New York Magazine’s book critic Christian Lorentzen has a dad who voted for Bernie in the primaries and will now vote for Trump. This conversion is the inspiration for the writer’s latest “Diary” on the DNC for the London Review of Books. Unable to convince the elder Lorentzen to “vote for the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, or not vote at all,” he reflects on why Clinton has been unable to win over Bernie Sanders supporters who refuse to vote for “the lesser evil.” 

Actor and comedian Patton Oswalt intends to finish his late wife Michelle McNamara’s final book. A true-crime writer, McNamara was working on a book about “The Golden State Killer” before her sudden death last spring.

Gabriel Sherman, who made headlines with his story of Roger Ailes’s harassment lawsuits and subsequent resignation from Fox, talks to the Washington Post about the “deep sources and dogged persistence” it took to break the story. Sherman, who was previously Ailes’s biographer, “doesn’t think for a minute that the story has run its course.”

Novelist and activist Mahasweta Devi has died at 90. Devi was best known for her political fiction, including The Queen of Jhansi and Mother of 1084.

Employees of the trade news site Law360 announced plans to unionize last month, but unlike VICE, Gawker, or Salon, they are facing intense backlash from their employer. The Huffington Post spoke with a number of unnamed employees, who say that pay is not necessarily the highest priority in their organizing effort: unfair non-compete clauses and “pressure to write uncritical articles about big law firms and their partners” were some of the problems they hope forming a union could address.

Gossip columnist Liz Smith reflects on what it means when Donald Trump tries to blacklist you. After breaking the story of Donald and Ivanka’s divorce, Smith remembers, “He said he would buy the New York Daily News in order to fire me. It was the greatest thing. He made me world famous.”

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