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Book News: Author Goes Exclusive to Amazon, Dunne’s Last Book, and More

  • The 7 Habits of Establishing a Monopoly: We at Powells.com would like to bid a fond farewell to the eBooks of one Mr. Stephen Covey.

    According to the New York Times:

    Stephen R. Covey, one of the most successful business authors of the last two decades, has moved e-book rights for two of his best-selling books from his print publisher, Simon & Schuster, a division of the CBS Corporation, to a digital publisher that will sell the e-books to Amazon.com for one year.

    Amazon, maker of the popular Kindle e-reader and one of the biggest book retailers in the country, will have the exclusive rights to sell electronic editions of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and a later work, Principle-Centered Leadership. Mr. Covey also plans to gradually make other e-books available exclusively to Amazon, which will promote them on its Web site.

    I wonder if one of those seven habits is "Screw over all independent bookstores in one, fell swoop."

  • Flashback: The New York Times Magazine's recent "Year in Ideas" issue had a piece examining the possibility that mystery-maven Agatha Christie might have suffered from Alzheimer's.

    Though some of her biographers have suspected as much, actual evidence was advanced in March by a research team led by Ian Lancashire and Graeme Hirst, professors at the University of Toronto, in a paper called "Vocabulary Changes in Agatha Christie's Mysteries as an Indication of Dementia."

    The professors digitized 14 Christie novels (and included two more available in the Gutenberg online text archive), and then, with the aid of textual-analysis software, analyzed them for "vocabulary size and richness," an increase in repeated phrases (like "all sorts of") and an uptick in indefinite words ("anything," "something") — linguistic indicators of the cognitive deficits typical of Alzheimer's disease. The results were statistically significant; Christie's lexicon decreased with age, while both the number of vague words she employed and phrases she repeated increased.

    (Thanks to Michael Swain for the tip!)

  • Dunne Deal: In the New York Times, Janet Maslin reviews the late Dominick Dunne's posthumous book Too Much Money:

    Mr. Dunne left behind one last, stinging roman à clef. And he most assuredly used it to settle scores. [...] Both [the character] Gus Bailey and Mr. Dunne were saying goodbye. The book is full of quietly heartbreaking evidence of that....[H]e and Mr. Dunne both exited on a grace note. They preferred to be remembered at their courtly best.

  • Dominick's son, actor/director Griffin Dunne, spoke about his father on last night's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Book News Round-up:

  • NPR's Lynn Neary picks the year's best book club books, including The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? by Padgett Powell — which is composed entirely of questions.

    What seems like a light, breezy read can suddenly turn serious, even profound, as the questions begin to provoke memories of the past and fears of the future....So what does it all add up to? Is it, as its subtitle asks, really a novel? Great question, I think, for a book club to ponder.

  • Powell's Review-a-Day partner Rain Taxi is holding an online auction featuring "first editions, gorgeous broadsides, rare chapbooks, quirky used books, as well as original art, an article of clothing, a decorative bag, a crazy quilt, and more!"

    Click here to place your bid and support Rain Taxi.

  • There are so many e-readers on the market now, it can be daunting to tell one from the other. Luckily, Business Week has a handy guide to ALL of them. Even the ones that haven't been released yet.

÷ ÷ ÷

Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the Powells.com blog. In his free time he's hard at work on his fictional memoir, which changes titles daily.

The views and commentary posted by Brockman are entirely his own, and are not representative of the whole of Powell's Books, its employees, or any sane human being.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective...
    Used Trade Paper $5.50
  2. Principle-Centered Leadership
    Used Hardcover $8.50
  3. And Then There Were None
    Used Mass Market $3.95
  4. Too Much Money Used Hardcover $3.50
  5. The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? Used Hardcover $9.50

5 Responses to "Book News: Author Goes Exclusive to Amazon, Dunne’s Last Book, and More"

    Maur December 15th, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    "Screw over all independent bookstores in one, fell swoop."

    Suck it up! There's nothing you can do about it and throwing a tanty won't change a thing.

    KevinS December 16th, 2009 at 9:29 am

    That Padgett Powell book is currently rocking my whimsy and shattering my brain a little.

    Martin Blake December 16th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Gosh, Maur, we weren't aware that writing "I wonder if one of those seven habits is 'Screw over all independent bookstores in one, fell swoop'" qualifies as a "tanty." I would think a pointlessly pissy comment is more like throwing a tantrum.

    Maur December 16th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Of course it qualifies as a tanty, your annoyed and it shows. If you can't take the resulting comments don't write stuff in that tone.

    Amanda Rice December 17th, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Yeah Powells, get over your stupid selves! Don't you know the whole world will soon be owned by Amazon and you can't fight it? Quit worrying about your stupid survival-- you stupid idiots!!!!!!

    your = you're
    tanty = stupid

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