• October 30, 2013

    The Los Angeles Review of Books launches a new section, “Around the World,” which is dedicated to profiling “thinkers, writers, artists, and activists in countries all over the world, whose work transcends national borders and boundaries, whether it be in painting, music, poetry, or fiction, journalism, public service, or advocacy in the public interest.”


    If you’ve been curious about which books New Yorkers have been checking out of public libraries, wonder no longer: The NYPL has been releasing lists of the most-checked out books, both electronic and physical. Last September, the most checked-out fiction book was Dan Brown’s Inferno, followed by Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed and Lauren Weisberger’s Revenge Wears Prada, while the most in-demand non-fiction books were Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, David Sedaris’s Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, and Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World.

    The Economist considers the delicate ecosystems of university presses and their prospects for survival: While many university presses are under intense amounts of financial pressure—after all, “academic monographs are considered a splash today if they sell just 800 copies in their first year”—the magazine argues that “the machinations of the university system” will keep many presses afloat. This is because “to win tenure, academics need to publish their research, and university presses are hungry outlets. However, no press wants to be mistaken for a vanity publisher, so most of them try to publish academics from other institutions.”

    Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, is shopping around a memoir.

    River of Fundament, Matthew Barney’s five-hour adaptation of Norman Mailer’s novel Ancient Evenings, will premiere in full at Australia’s 2014 Adelaide Festival next year. The festival runs from Feb. 28 to March 16, and the film will debut in the U.S. at the Brooklyn Academy of Music not long after.

    New Yorkers, if you have no plans tonight (or even if you do) we encourage you to stop by the Community Bookstore in Brooklyn to hear Bookforum contributor Eric Banks discuss the life and legacy of Susan Sontag with Sigrid Nunez, author of Sempre Susan; Jeff Seroy, who works at FSG, and Moe Angelos, who performed in the New York Theater Workshop production of Sontag: Reborn. The panel coincides with the Library of America’s release of Susan Sontag: Essays of the 1960s & 70s.