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Book News: Amazon Tries To Claim '.book' Domain; Publishers Fight Back

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

  • The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers are battling a bid by Amazon to claim new Internet domains such as ".book," ".author" and ".read." In complaints filed late last week to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the two groups call Amazon's concept "plainly anticompetitive" and "not in the public interest." Barnes & Noble also isn't happy about it.
  • Mindy Kaling is writing a follow-up to her 2012 book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). Kaling, your cool big sister and the star of The Mindy Project, announced her plans last week to a crowd at a TV festival.
  • "Literature is full of dreams that we remember more clearly than our own," writes Francine Prose in an essay about literary dreams for The New York Review of Books.
  • Maria Tatar, a Harvard professor of Germanic languages, writes about the idea of the "female trickster" for The New Yorker: "Lady Gaga draws us out of our comfort zones, crosses boundaries, gets snared in her own devices. Shamelessly exploitative and exploratory, she reminds us that every culture requires a space for the disruptive energy of antisocial characters. She may have the creativity of a trickster, but she is also Sleeping Beauty and menacing monster, all rolled into one."

The Best Books Coming Out This Week:

  • Scottish novelist A. L. Kennedy's Blue Book is the weird and lovely story of a chance meeting of former con artist partners aboard a trans-Atlantic cruise. And don't miss Kennedy's essay for NPR on Derek Raymond's crime novel He Died With His Eyes Open. She writes: "Derek Raymond, who died in 1994, has been described as the father of British noir. But he's far beyond noir. There probably isn't even a word for his kind of darkness."
  • The protagonist of William H. Gass' long-awaited Middle C, Joseph Skizzen, has a rich imaginary inner life as the founder of the mysterious Inhumanity Museum.
  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, which came out Monday, has generated an extraordinary amount of debate. NPR's Renee Montagne calls the book "something of a feminist call to arms." But others say Sandberg's view is too narrow — Melissa Gira Grant wrote in The Washington Post that "this is simply the elite leading the slightly-less-elite, for the sake of Sandberg's bottom line."
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