Google Books, Joan Didion's Birthday, Amazon's Latest Imprint, and More

by James F. Thompson

Daily News

Online Only, posted 12.5.13

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories:

"The obsession with digital errors in Google Books arises from the sense that these mistakes are permanent, on the record." In the New Yorker, Kenneth Goldsmith examines how human error complicates Google’s attempts to scan books and documents.

Joan Didion turns seventy-nine today, and to honor her birthday the Huffington Post has compiled a list of tips gleaned from her literary wisdom regarding how to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Amazon's latest imprint, StoryFront, is dedicated exclusively to Kindle and will focus on short fiction across all genres. (Publishers Weekly)

The New York Times reveals its list of the ten best books of 2013.

Britain's Literary Review selected author Manil Suri as the winner of this year's Bad Sex Award for his novel The City of Devi. The dubious award is meant to ”draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it." (Washington Post)

In the Rumpus, novelist Catherine Bush discusses the nebulous line between professional and private life, her creative process, and the challenges of writing Accusation, her latest novel. 

“I felt trapped in two dimensions, like a man climbing stairs made of paint.” Writer Boyer Rickel reflects on love, loss, and disease after experiencing the pain of losing his partner. (Guernica)

The National Poetry Series, which publishes five books of poetry each year, may close in 2014 due to a shortcoming in its annual fund-raising efforts. (New York Times)