The Thursday Book Beat: New Reads for Your Morning Commute

Happy Thursday Booklovers! Christa here, stepping in this week to share the latest news from the literary world.

Penguin Random House has launched their new Subway Reads program to celebrate the installation of free Wi-Fi in the New York City subway system. The program offers “40,000 pages or 50-plus hours of reading time” to commuters.  There is a variety of categories, genres and lengths to choose from — starting with five free e-shorts.

The five free e-shorts are “High Heat,” a Jack Reacher novella by Lee Child; F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz”; “3 Truths and a Lie” by Lisa Gardner; “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe; and “At the Reunion Buffet” by Alexander McCall Smith.

The excerpts of longer works from 175 Penguin Random House titles include as many titles by New Yorkers or about New York as possible, including poetry from Walt Whitman and Billy Collins as well as selections from Beloved by Toni Morrison, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben and Open City by Teju Cole. Spanish-language titles include Manuscrito Encontrado en Accra by Paulo Coelho, Así es Como la Pierdes by Junot Díaz and El cuaderno de Maya by Isabel Allende…They’ll also be able to purchase the e-books in the promotion; the MTA will receive a share of revenue.”

If you happen to be in Georgia instead of New York this weekend you may want to head over to the AJC Decatur Book Festival. Wonder, R.J. Palacio, Knopf, 2012With 600 authors, it’s the largest independent book festival in the United States, and it runs from September 2-4.

 Some of you may have kids heading back to school this week or next. CBC has compiled a list of books to help ease children and teens back into the classroom—including one of my personal favourites, Wonder by R. J. Palacio.

In completely unrelated news, Seth Grahame-Smith, the author of Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, is being sued by his publisher.

“[He] is being sued by his publisher for delivering a manuscript that Hachette claims is “an appropriation of a 120-year-old public-domain work”…the complaint, which was posted online by Publishers Marketplace, says that the author and publisher made a $4m (£3m) deal in 2010 for Grahame-Smith to deliver two new works, with an initial instalment of $1m paid to the author….Hachette is suing Grahame-Smith and his company Baby Gorilla for at least $500,000 – half of the advance it paid him six years ago, plus interest.”

Other News this Week

Marilynne Robinson wins the Dayton literary peace prize

Toronto’s Art Bar Poetry series returns this fall

Amazon to Open New Bookstore in Chicago

Christa Seeley

Christa Seeley

Books Editor. Maple Flavoured Darth Vader Fangirl.