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Today in books: The winner of the Nobel Prize for literature will be announced Thursday, Maurice Sendak shoots from the hip, and Bookish gets a new CEO.

  • The winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced this Thursday at 1 p.m Swedish time, the Royal Academy announced in a statement on its Web site. The Associated Press notes it's something of a Nobel tradition for the literature panel to wait until the last possible minute to set a date for handing out the award, which technically can be awarded on any Thursday in October. Going with the first available date suggests to book blog the Literary Saloon that the panel "reached their decision relatively easily, which in turn suggests ... we can expect a fairly prominent name" to be announced as the winner. For what it's worth, the English betting public seems to think Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is capable of pulling an upset. Last Tuesday, betting firm Ladbrokes put the odds of a Murakami win at 16-to-1. That number has since shortened to 8-to-1. (Syrian poet Adonis remains the odds-on favorite at 4-to-1, followed by 80 year-old Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, whose odds have gone from 9-to-2 to 6-to-1.) [Arts Beat]
  • Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak has not been hesitant to share give unvarnished opinions during interviews to promote his new Verdi-inspired children's book Bumble Ardy, but he manages to register complaints against e-books ("It's like making believe there's another kind of sex. There isn't another kind of sex. There isn't another kind of book!"), New York ("You get pushed and harassed and people grope you. It's too tumultuous, it's too crazy!"), and Rupert Murdoch, who owns Bumble Ardy publisher Harpers, all within ten minutes of sitting down to a new interview with The Guardian. He gets more candid from there, calling Salman Rushdie a "flaccid fuckhead," Stephen King "bullshit," and the late Road Dahl a "scary guy." He's also not a Gwyneth Paltrow fan. "I can't stand her," Sendak declares. [The Guardian]
  • Bookish, the book recommendation site backed publishers Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and Hachette, has named Caroline Marks as its new CEO. She replaces Paulo Lemgruber, who has left the company. When the project was announced last May, Lemgruber said in a press release it would function the IMDB of books, and also feature a retail arm. The site was supposed to go live Labor Day in partnership with AOL Huffington Post, but it missed that launch date, and still hasn't set a new one. [GalleyCat]

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