• Retailer Barnes & Noble’s jaunt into publishing results in a listing on the New York Times bestseller list and strikes terror in the hearts of traditional publishers everywhere.
  • Japanese novelist Tsutomu Mizukami has died of pneumonia at 85. In a five-year-old interview available online, Mizukami explained that he finally embraced computers when a friend showed up at his house with a young woman in a miniskirt who was to be his instructor.
  • It’s news dating from May of this year, but new to me via the current (money) issue of Boldtype: “Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the site of the Library of Alexandria.”
  • Random House lawyers combed through Kitty Kelley’s forthcoming unauthorized biography of G.W. Bush — which evidently alleges based on statements from one Bush brother’s ex-wife that the [P]resident used cocaine during his father’s presidency — with an eye toward litigation. The publisher says it is “100 percent confident” of all assertions made in the book. (Via The Fix.)
  • “Not even the birthplace of the Beatles is immune from this whole ‘let’s all read the same book‘ silliness,” says Mark Sarvas, who recalls being body-checked by a massive, grim Liverpool sailor after spending the night at an area YMCA when he was 16.
  • Laila Lalami has been buying books on all four corners of the earth, from Casablanca to Paris.
  • About Last Night’s Our Girl in Chicago is not entirely unsympathetic to Stacy Sullivan’s publishing horrors (discussed here and here) but argues that many of them are attributable to her failure to meet deadlines. And my friend Darice writes in email, “If she wanted to write a definite bestseller, she should have come up with The Kosovo Diet. Diet books are always, always at the top of the nonfiction list.”

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