The Very Best Descriptions of Self-Published Books

Hamilton Nolan · 02/17/14 03:42PM

Even if you are a famous author published by a top publishing house and celebrated in rarefied literary circles, you will never write anything better than the description of a self-published author's book.

Paranoid Burlesque: William S. Burroughs At 100

Ken Layne · 02/05/14 11:40AM

Life is maddening and dull. People are treacherous. It is impossible to have any peace without being lonesome. Our species fell into a trap of words and routines. William S. Burroughs was born a century ago today, made many detailed complaints to the Management, and died in 1997.

Ken Layne · 01/10/14 05:59PM

If you've never read Howard Zinn's delightful and fast-paced A People's History of the United States, now is a good time to start. Amazon's got the e-book priced at $2.49 today, so do some e-commerce in the service of the coming socialist revolution!

Adam Weinstein · 12/30/13 03:56PM

Barack Obama's half-brother, China-based Mark Obama Ndesandjo, plans a self-published tell-all about how their father was abusive and how Barack got lots wrong in his own autobiography. "Barack thought I was too white and I thought he was too black," Ndesandjo says. Also, Benghazi.

Sherlock Holmes Is in the Public Domain

Sarah Hedgecock · 12/28/13 11:30AM

Hear that sound? It's the squeal of a million fan fiction writers freaking out at the prospect of finally getting some respect. This week, a federal judge ruled that the world's most famous (and possibly most adapted) detective may enter the public domain.

Max Read · 11/21/13 09:39AM

William Weaver, the Italian translator who rendered Italo Calvino and Umberto Eco into English, has died at 90. If your obituary can include this sentence it's fair to say you led a good life: "Midway through our meal of pasta with lemon and cream sauce, Muriel Spark walked in with a basketful of forest mushrooms[.]"

Fifty Shades of Grey Has Herpes (No, Really)

Sarah Hedgecock · 11/14/13 04:00PM

You should probably think twice before borrowing erotica from your local public library. I mean, for the obvious reasons, but also because Belgian scientists recently found a library copy of Fifty Shades of Grey bearing trace amounts of herpes. And do you really think that's an isolated incident?

Chat With Rush and Molloy About Gossip, Celebrities, and Scandal

Hamilton Nolan · 10/23/13 12:15PM

Veteran journalists and married couple George Rush and Joanna Molloy spent 15 years as gossip columnists at the New York Daily News, earning a reputation as the more upstanding yin to Page Six's take-no-prisoners yang. Rush and Molloy will be here at 2 p.m. to discuss their new book, Scandal. Ask them gossipy questions below!

Five Morrissey Affirmations from His Autobiography (Spoiler: He's Gay)

Camille Dodero · 10/17/13 02:44PM

Professional sad man Morrissey had a memoir in the works, but then he didn't, but then he did, and today the British contrarian's self-portrayal was finally released in Europe. Weighing more than a pound, the 480-pager is an instant classic—that is, according to Penguin Classics, an imprint historically reserved for educational materials like Little Women and cornerstones of civilizations like the Iliad, which added Morrissey's Autobiography to its illustrious ranks by publishing this thick doorstop. Naturally, arbiters of literary standards are miffed. As if it matters.

What If Dick Cheney's First Heart Attack Had Killed Him?

Hamilton Nolan · 10/17/13 11:26AM

Dick "Dick" Cheney, the defining political figure of 21st century America, is publishing a book next week called Heart: An American Medical Odyssey, about his own health problems. Cheney had the first of his five heart attacks in 1978. What if he had not survived?

Cord Jefferson · 10/04/13 07:54PM

Stop me if you think you've heard this one before: Morrissey is publishing an autobiography. After reportedly having his book deal fall apart last month, Morrissey and Penguin Classics have announced that Moz' book will be published on October 17, according to the Guardian. The original draft was reportedly 660 pages.

J.K. Trotter · 09/26/13 01:02PM

The Randolph County Board of Education voted to rescind its ban on Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel Invisible Man. Emails protesting the initial ban, one board member told The Courier-Tribune, “made him realize that he didn’t have the right to subject his morals on others.”

Cord Jefferson · 09/20/13 11:56AM

North Carolina's Randolph County Board of Education is reconsidering its decision to ban the Ralph Ellison novel Invisible Man for having questionable literary value. The Courier-Tribune reports that at the hearing to ban the book "there was no indication during the discussion if [the board] had all read it."

The Bizarre Parent Letter that Got Invisible Man Banned from Schools

J.K. Trotter · 09/19/13 05:15PM

Randolph County in North Carolina recently voted to ban Ralph Ellison’s classic 1952 novel Invisible Man from school libraries over its portrayal of mature topics like sex and rape. Why? Kathi Keys at the Courier-Tribune reports that Kimiyutta Parson, the parent of a local high-schooler, submitted a “complaint” outlining in great, and often bizarre, detail how the National Book Award-winning novel “is not so innocent; instead, this book is filthier, too much for teenagers.”

Brooklyn's Newest Made-Up Job Title Is "Book Therapist" ($30 Per Hour)

Camille Dodero · 09/13/13 02:10PM

Are you desperate for the perfect book? Having trouble choosing between the Tao Te Ching or Who Moved My Cheese? Can't figure out whether Siddartha or Lipstick Jungle will be better suited for your emotional development? There is hope. For a small fee! Of $30/hour.