Award-winning LA Times staff writer covering books and publishing.

Author launches book to audience of 4,000 penguins

latimes.com — Talk about a cold audience. Author and explorer Patrick Woodhead traveled to Antarctica to launch his latest book -- in front of 4,000 penguins. "It's the only book launch I've done where everyone turned up in black tie," he joked in a release.

'Culture' is Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2014

latimes.com — Merriam-Webster dictionary has declared "culture" the word of the year for 2014. Of the top 10 words in the running for the honor, culture had a 15% year-over-year increase in look-ups on the dictionary company's website and in its app. "We're simply using the word culture more frequently," Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster, told the Associated Press.

11 gossipy things Andy Warhol said about the writers of the 1970s

latimes.com — Artist Andy Warhol was an enigmatic figure, so when his diaries were published after his death they caused a sensation. Sometimes gossipy, other times insightful, and often mundane (he constantly notes the cost of taxi rides), they showed that the man who was at the center of the social and art worlds in New York was keenly observant through it all.

Australian Prime Minister causes literary prize uproar

latimes.com — They call it the Prime Minister's Literary Award, so it makes sense that Australia's prime minister gets to have a say in it. However, when Prime Minister Tony Abbott decided to have a hand in the final fiction decision this week, it caused an uproar.

Authors of grand new book 'Cecil B. DeMille' to sign Thursday

latimes.com — Cecilia de Mille Presley and Mark A. Vieira, the authors of " Cecil B. Demille: The Art of the Hollywood Epic " will be signing the book at Book Soup on Thursday. The book, too, is epic, combining stills and never-before-seen artwork and ephemera from one of Hollywood's most legendary directors.

James Patterson is on a mission to #saveourbooks

latimes.com — "There's no evidence at this stage that the great books in our culture can be produced through the Internet right now," says bestselling writer James Patterson . "If the equivalent of 'Ulysses' came along, out it would go on the Internet, it would get like about 12 Fs in a row - 'I couldn't get through the first page,' 'Couldn't get through the first chapter,' F-F-F-F-F, and 'Ulysses' would disappear."

Auction of rare Neal Cassady / Jack Kerouac letter cancelled

latimes.com — A long-lost letter from Neal Cassady to his friend Jack Kerouac will not be auctioned as planned, due to disagreements between the estates of both men. The nine-page, 16,000-word letter, thought to be a seminal moment in Beat history, was penned by Cassady in 1950 and sent to Kerouac.

Patrick Modiano accepts the Nobel, speaks of memory, oblivion

modbee.com — When French writer Patrick Modiano was named winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature earlier this year, American readers were caught by surprise. Only a handful of the novelist's books had been published in the U.S., leaving many American book lovers asking, Modian-who?

Patrick Modiano accepts the Nobel, speaks of memory, oblivion

sacbee.com — When French writer Patrick Modiano was named winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature earlier this year, American readers were caught by surprise. Only a handful of the novelist's books had been published in the U.S., leaving many American book lovers asking, Modian-who?

Patrick Modiano accepts the Nobel, speaks of memory, oblivion

kansas.com — When French writer Patrick Modiano was named winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature earlier this year, American readers were caught by surprise. Only a handful of the novelist's books had been published in the U.S., leaving many American book lovers asking, Modian-who?
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Dec 22, 2014

@alexanderchee yes that's me being all USPS (US Postal Service). But maybe a big house in rural Pennsylvania. Or Detroit.

Dec 22, 2014

@alexanderchee I think that this, like your Amtrak residency wish, could totally happen. Make it a VT Airbnb.

Dec 21, 2014

@marcmaron better than leaving a letter instructing them how to muffle the sounds of sex.

Dec 20, 2014

Amber Tamblyn adapted and is directing Janet Fitch's Paint It Black. What are YOU doing for the holidays?

Dec 19, 2014

Mate Seeks Thrills; Wife Seeks Divorce - LA Times headline, 1924

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