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Book News: Chick-Lit Icon Bridget Jones Returns

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Alfred A. Knopf announced in a press release Tuesday that Helen Fielding's third Bridget Jones book will be published in November. Fielding told the BBC last year that the new Bridget has changed with the times and will be more interested in counting Twitter followers than calories and cigarettes. And, of course, no discussion of Bridget Jones' Diary is complete without a mention of Salman Rushdie's delightfully dour cameo in the first movie.
  • The Organist, a new monthly podcast from literary magazine The Believer and NPR member station KCRW, dances on the border between charming quirk and unbearable hipsterdom. Skip the discussion of psychic musicians and go straight to the interview with George Saunders, the adorable mustachioed bandit who wrote Tenth of December.
  • Beginning today, Apple will feature self-published titles prominently on the homepage of iBookstore — another sign that self-publishing is becoming more mainstream every day.
  • The best-selling author and former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, who was killed on Saturday, was working on a second book, according to Sharyn Rosenblum, a spokesperson for publisher William Morrow. Rosenblum said by phone this morning that American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms, written with coauthor William Doyle, is "nearly done." The book was originally scheduled to be published on May 14, but the publication date may be moved because Kyle's co-writer will now be finishing the book on his own.
  • Ping Fu's memoir, Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds, which details the Geomagic CEO's life growing up during Mao's Cultural Revolution, has been the subject of virulent online attacks after the truthfulness of her story was called into question by a prominent Chinese blogger. The memoir includes brutal anecdotes about being orphaned and then gang raped as a child and forced to leave China as a young adult. Ping claims any problem is one of faulty memory and mistranslations instead of willful deceit, but that hasn't stopped people from posting hundreds of angry one-star reviews on Amazon.
  • Amazon announced Tuesday that it will launch its own currency, a la Chuck E. Cheese. The company says that starting in May, U.S. customers can use its virtual "Amazon Coins" to buy "apps, games, and in-app items on Kindle Fire."
  • And last but not least: What to do when a book makes you cry on public transportation.

(About Book News)

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