Ayelet Waldman Against Amazon Users; To Catch a Book Thief

Plus: Michael Chabon wife addresses his Amazon critics

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Today in books: Pottermore will launch without its Ebook shop, Michael Chabon's wife defends him from Amazon's tough critics, and Audible's star-studded new audiobook lineup could have used a few more surprises.

  • On Twitter yesterday, Michael Chabon's wife Ayelet Waldman voiced her displeasure with the "fucking moron" Amazon users who are giving her husband's new picture book The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man bad reviews. "IT WAS WRITTEN FOR LITTLE KIDS," fumed Walden. She continued, "You don't actually GET a picture is for children? Jackasses." This is a reasonable point, but the way it was delivered and Walden's history of dust-ups (she launched a Twitter tirade against essayist Katie Rophie earlier this year because she thought Rophie implied that her husband's sentences weren't "sublime" in an essay for The New York Times) will probably just encourage more one-star reviews for the book, like the one user "Muffy Stottle-Kregs" posted earlier today. "Neither I nor my children," wrote Muffy, "cared for the character of the screeching harpy of a wife Very unpleasant. Also, the name? Eyelid? Very odd." [Page Six and Twitter]
  • When author J.K. Rowling's online Harry Potter merchandise hub Pottermore launches next month, it will be without e-book editions of the seven novels ready for download. The plan was to make digital editions of the books available exclusively through the site, but Pottermore now says it is delaying implementation of the feature until the first half of 2012 to "get as many people onto the site as possible" when it goes live. Which in muggle-speak means there were some bugs to work out. [The Bookseller]
  • Audible has unveiled a list of big-time actors who will be recording audiobooks for the service. The company says the actors helped choose the selections and pick the books they wanted to read. Other than the curious pairing of Dustin Hoffman and Jerry Kosinski's Being There, GalleyCat's full list of stars and the respective titles they are reading (below) somehow feels a bit too correct. Kate Winslet is quoted in the company's press release saying that she drawn to the project because it was an acting. But in that case, shouldn't she try recording A Rage in Harlem and let Samuel L. Jackson try his hand at Zola? The titles will be released next year. [Galleycat]

Kim Basinger (The Awakening by Kate Chopin)

Annette Bening (Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf)

Jennifer Connelly (The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles)

Colin Firth (The End of the Affair by Graham Greene)

Anne Hathaway (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum)

Dustin Hoffman (Being There by Jerzy Kosinski)

Samuel L. Jackson (A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes)

Nicole Kidman (To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf)

Meg Ryan (The Human Comedy by William Saroyan)

Susan Sarandon (The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers)

Naomi Watts (Summer by Edith Wharton)

Kate Winslet (Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola) 

  •  New York City used bookstore owner named Donald Davis trapped Andrew Hansen, who the New York Post calls "a suspected serial thief of books from the New York Public Library," following a run-in at his East Village bookshop. According to the Post, "NYPL gumshoes" and used bookshop owners had been on the lookout for Hansen, who according to Davis would tear the stickers out of books and then unload them to unsuspecting merchants, including Davis in the past. This time, he used all his old wrestling moves to keep him in the store until cops arrived. "There's no other situation where I would do this," Davis admitted to the Post. "[But] I was so angry that he was stealing from the library... There's going to be a lot of anger this gets out. People will think twice about selling library books.” [New York Post]
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