• February 12, 2014

    According to the blog EV Grieve, novelist and performer Maggie Estep died earlier this week. In the early ’90s, Estep was a vital presence in the East Village spoken-word scene. She appeared regularly on MTV and toured with the Lallapalooza festival in 1994. She has written seven novels, including Diary of an Emotional Idiot (1997) and, more recently, the horsetrack noirs Hex (2003) and Flamethrower (2010).

  • Ursula Lindsey reports on the 2014 Cairo International Book Fair.

    At the New Yorker, George Packer has written a thorough history of Amazon, and asks if the superstore is “bad for books.” Packer writes: “Amazon is not just the ‘Everything Store,’ to quote the title of Brad Stone’s rich chronicle of Bezos and his company; it’s more like the Everything. What remains constant is ambition, and the search for new things to be ambitious about.”

    AA Gill has received the annual Hatchet Job Award for his acerbic review of Morrissey’s Autobiography, which the critic called “a cacophony of jangling, misheard and misused words … a sea of Stygian self-justification and stilted self-conscious prose.” According to the Guardian, the award ceremony will be held next Tuesday at London’s Coach and Horses pub, where Gill will be presented with a golden hatchet and a year’s supply of potted shrimp. This is not the first time Gill has been recognized for his barbed commentary: One headline from the London Evening Standard reads “Chef attacked kitchen worker after critic AA Gill called food ‘disgusting.'”

    Hilary Mantel

    Hilary Mantel

    Hilary Mantel—the author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies—will be the first living novelist to have her portrait in the British Library.

    Howell Raines wrote a memoir about fly fishing. Joseph Lelyveld wrote a biography of Ghandi. And Max Frankel wrote a memoir about his years at the New York Times. Following Bill Keller’s announcement that he will leave his position at the Times, Poynter looks at what other executive editors have done after leaving their positions at the Gray Lady.

    According to Search Engine Journal, Google has announced its plans to launch a new content-recommendation system for publishers. According to an email sent out by Google sales representatives: “Our engineers are working on a content recommendation beta that will present users relevant internal articles on your site after they read a page. This is a great way to drive loyal users and more pageviews.”