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All stories relating to Jonathan Franzen

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Book links roundup: E.L. James’ $1-million book deal, the greatest losers in American literature, and more

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Book biz round-up: Ian McEwen gets political and more

Book news from around the Web:

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Books of the Year 2010: Covers of the Year

There’s no formula for choosing the books of the year. Some break ground, some tackle familiar themes with new energy. Some represent the best work from established authors, some introduce us to important new voices. And some are simply in-house favourites we feel deserve a little more attention. Here are the 5 most notable book covers of 2010.

Seven Good Reasons Not to Be Good
by John Gould (HarperCollins Canada)
Cover design by David Gee

I like this cover for so many reasons, one of them being that it doesn’t rely on bland and obvious stock photography. It’s simple, effective, and ­geometrical. It does what a good cover should do: it instantly grabs my attention and piques my interest. It does not rely on a visual representation­ of the book’s content, which can really hobble a cover design. I don’t­ ­instantly know what the book is about, but that’s why flap copy was ­invented, and this cover made me stop to read the flap. – Jessica Sullivan, senior ­designer at Douglas & McIntyre

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Event photos: the last days of IFOA

Toronto’s International Festival of Authors wrapped up last weekend with a number of marquee events, including a reading and book signing with Freedom author and current it-boy Jonathan Franzen. Here are a few moments from the final days:


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Franzen’s “Freedom” the next Oprah Book Club pick?

Jonathan Franzen’s new book has brought forth a stream of criticism of The New York Times‘ sexism and set off a small panic in the publishing world when Obama received an ARC. Now reporters and bloggers are speculating that Freedom will be the choice for the revived Oprah Book Club on Sept. 17.  The topic is particularly surprising since, in 2001, Franzen refused Oprah’s seal of approval for The Corrections, cancelling the induction mid-deal with a series of controversial comments. MobyLives reports:

That was a long time ago, and he made his money (maybe more than if he’d allowed the Oprah deal to go forward, causing some to speculate it was all a ruse), and maybe learned his lesson. And you would think for sure that Oprah learned hers. Hell, after all that nasty stuff Franzen said about her, the industry awarded him the National Book Award, a year after sucking up to her by having her host the event.

Well, you would think wrong. Reliable sources tell me Oprah has selected Franzen’s newest book, Freedom, for her revived book club.

Oprah’s 65th book pick will be announced live on her show on Friday.

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Daily book biz round-up: Obama reads Franzen; Pope to publish second book; and more

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Daily book biz round-up: Franzen makes Time; Jezebel hits back; and more

Today’s book news:

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The amazing adventures of Bart and Lisa

Plenty of writers — most notably the reclusive Thomas Pynchon, who, according to a Los Angeles Times article, faxed in a list of possible jokes before his turn — have appeared, so to speak, on The Simpsons. But an episode of the show that will be broadcast next year will feature four very well-known American authors — Tom Wolfe, Gore Vidal, Jonathan Franzen, and Michael Chabon. The premise for the episode is that Moe the Bartender is a poet.

These are the two best paragraphs from Steven Barrie-Anthony’s article in the L.A. Times:

• “This is the only show of any sort that I watch on television,” Wolfe says, sitting in the greenroom after recording. The immaculately dressed author is surrounded by a group of scruffy Harvard-educated Simpsons writers, hanging on his every word. “My son, Tommy, who’s now 20, one of his first words was [Homer's trademark exclamation] ‘D’oh!’ And now any conversation he has with anybody, he’ll reference The Simpsons.

• “My kids and my father are very excited,” Chabon says. He’s not kidding. Reached later by phone, his father, Robert Chabon, said that he always expected Michael to win a Pulitzer (which he did in 2001 for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay). “And I still think he’s going to win the National Book Award,” said the Kansas City, Kan., pediatrician. “But him being on The Simpsons is beyond my wildest dreams. You envision certain successes for your children, but this kind of success — I never envisioned.”

Related links:
Click here for the story from the Los Angeles Times

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