Why Elmore Leonard Writes; A Defense of Apostrophe Recission

Today in books: Elmore Leonard's new book comes out Tuesday, NPR picks the one poetry collection you need to buy this year, and Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln is going to be a National Geographic documentary.

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Today in publishing and literature: Elmore Leonard's shares some sensible advice about writing on the eve of the publication of his new book Raylan, NPR picks the one poetry collection you need to buy this year, and Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln is going to be a National Geographic documentary.

Lil Wayne has signed a deal with Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette, for a memoir based on diaries he kept during his eight-month stint at Rikers Island last year. The book, titled Gone Till November, is appropriately going to come out in November. Grand Central Publishing's press release describes the project as a "revealing internal monologue," which strikes us an airy way of saying, "We just transcribed whatever the heck Lil Wayne wrote."  [Jacket Copy]

The English book chain formerly known as Waterstone's is attracting some wonderfully overheated criticism for dropping its apostrophe and becoming just plain Waterstones earlier this week. “It’s just plain wrong," Apostrophe Protection Society chairman John Richards told The Telegraph. "It’s grammatically incorrect. If Sainsbury’s and McDonald’s can get it right, then why can’t Waterstone’s?” Daily Mail columnist Lindsay Johns turned the volume up even higher, calling the rebranding "ritualistic grammatical hari kari" and "an uncouth raspberry in the face of grammatical convention." The Guardian editorial page offered an island of grammatical sanity and good cheer by pointing out that stores have been doing this kind of thing forever. They note:

"In the high street, Boots and Clarks sit alongside McDonald's. Likewise in groceries, where it's still Sainsbury's but also Morrisons. Among London stores, Heal's persists with what Harrods and Selfridges have discarded. In the north, the old Lewis's department stores had one, but John Lewis never has. In Bradford, Brown Muffs went without, but was still BM's for short....You can watch cricket at Lord's while betting on it with Ladbrokes. But the recent problems at Blacks are enough to send a chap off for a gin at White's."

[The Guardian]

86-year-old Elmore Leonard has a new book out Tuesday. Hooray! Whether you side with Martin Amis, who dubbed Leonard the Dickens of Detroit, or Jeff Daniels' character in The Squid and the Whale, who felt the Out of Sight author was merely "the filet of trash," you'll want to read the terrific interview he did with The Wall Street Journal. Every answer is an unshowy little gem, but writers in particular will appreciate his response to the inevitable question about why he's still putting out new material. Says Leonard: "I still like to write. I might as well do it. I can't just sit here and look out the window. There's a lot of snow out there right now." Spoken like a true Elmore Leonard hero. [The Wall Street Journal]

NPR has put together a brief preview of the year ahead in poetry for people who aren't sure they like contemporary poetry. Their advice is simple: "If you only read one poetry book in 2012, The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, out in September from BOA, ought to be it." It contains all of Clifton's published poems and features an introduction written by Toni Morrison. Do that, and you've done your poetry purchasing for the year.  [NPR]

Bill O'Reilly's first history book, Killing Lincoln, has been banned from the gift shop at Ford's Theatre and been criticized for a variety of factual errors. It's also been a fixture atop non-fiction bestseller lists, which explains why National Geographic has optioned it for a two-hour documentary. The project will be produced by Ridley and Tony Scott, which is good news if you liked O'Reilly's fast-and-loose sense of history, and always wanted to see Lincoln's final days as a series of frenzied jump cuts.  [The Hollywood Reporter]

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