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Book News: DOJ Approves Penguin, Random House Merger

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

  • The Justice Department approved the proposed merger between publishers Random House and Penguin, which will likely take place in late 2013 and give the new entity control over about a quarter of the English-language market. Other antitrust authorities such as the European Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau and have yet to give their approval. Meanwhile, the publishing world is still reeling from the disappointing news that the new company won't be called "Random Penguin."
  • Randi Zuckerberg, former Facebook marketing director and sister of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins for a memoir (called Dot Complicated) as well as a children's book.
  • Vampires in the Lemon Grove author Karen Russell on meeting her favorite writers: "Recently I got to meet Louise Erdrich, and what I really wanted to do was to thank her for creating worlds that have such a deep spiraling life. But what came out of my mouth was something on the level of: 'Hey, Louise, are these pimentos in the dip?' "
  • The New Yorker's Carolyn Kormannon explores the "intricate and raw" erotica of John Donne — who was described by a contemporary as "a great visitor of ladies."
  • Need a distraction from news about meteors and asteroids? Check out the weird and whimsical world of book sculpting.


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Is It All Greek To You? Thank Medieval Monks, And The Bard, For The Phrase

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Cutting Local Taxes in The District

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Reddit CEO Says Miscommunication Led To Blackout Protest

A user revolt briefly shut down the social site last week after a key employee was dismissed. Interim CEO Ellen Pao says the company has "apologized for not communicating better" with site moderators.

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