Today in books and publishing: Self-published YA novel called racist; alleged embezzlement at MSU bookstore; Dwight Garner dissects Paterno; Glenn Beck re-releases The Jefferson Lies.
The New York Times reviews Paterno biography. How does one review Paterno, Joe Posnanski's biography of disgraced former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno? On one hand, you can't ignore Paterno's role in covering up Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse, but on the other hand, you have to grapple with the the book itself, which explores Paterno's life and legacy beyond recent scandals. The New York Times' book critic Dwight Garner opts for opaque comparisons, writing, "Paterno was to modern college football as the Amish are to Insane Clown Posse." Overall, he finds the books "breezy and largely sympathetic." It doesn't contain any profound insight into the coach's downfall, but it "adds grain and texture to the historical record, though, while mostly skimming the surface of its subject’s life." [The New York Times]
$400,000 missing from Missouri State University bookstore. If you were planning a heist, a cash-strapped bookstore would probably be one of the last places you'd think to rob. But Missouri State University officials are saying that one thief got off with quite the haul from the school's bookstore. And it was an inside job. Mark Brixey has been fired from his job as director of the Missouri State University bookstore due to alleged embezzlement. A whopping $400,000 has gone missing from the store, and $81,000 of that money was found in Brixey's drawer. Former university chancellor Kent Thomas has been brought in as interim bookstore director. [KSPR]
Magazine pulls support from YA novel many find racist. Last week, Weird Tales magazine pointed readers in the direction of self-published young adult novel Save the Pearls, calling it "a compelling view of a world that didn't listen to the warnings of ecologists, and a world that has developed a reverse racism." Many took offense at the recommendation, especially noting the book's website, which hosts a book trailer that features a blackface performance. The publisher of Weird Tales has now pulled its support for Save the Pearls. The magazine's publisher writes, "I must conclude that the use of the powerful symbols of white people forced to wear blackface to escape the sun, white women lusting after black 'beast men,' the 'pearls' and 'coals,' etc., is goddamned ridiculous and offensive." Author Victoria Foyt maintains that her book harbors no racism, writing, "I highly respect all races, and abhor racism. I sincerely hope that you will read Revealing Eden and grasp its message of love and hope for the planet and for all men." [io9]
Glenn Beck to publish book widely believed to be historically inaccurate. A few weeks ago we mentioned that the publisher of David Barton's The Jefferson Lies was pulling the book due to its many unsubstantiated claims. Conservative pundit Glenn Beck—who wrote the book's forward—has fewer reservations about the widely criticized book, and he plans to republish the book through his Mercury Ink imprint largely unaltered. Barton assures readers that the Mercury Ink edition "will not include any substantive changes, but I will rephrase some things to remove any potential confusion." [The Guardian]
Brazilian book pedaler. As part of the Bicicloteca project, 61-year-old, formerly homeless librarian Robson Mendonça bikes around Sao Paulo lending books to people who live on the streets. They can't get a library card due to lack of residency documentation. [Global Voices]
Bringing fiction to teens, one story at a time. One Story magazine is exactly what it sounds like: a no-frills pamphlet containing one piece of short fiction, delivered to subscribers every three weeks. Now, the editors behind One Story are launching a version for younger readers called One Teen Story. The first issue hits mailboxes next month. [The Washington Post]
Bookstore sales up. Bookstore sales rose by nearly 4% this June, a slight improvement over sales from this same period in 2011. [Publishers Weekly]
Fifty Shades finally outsold. A diet book by Si King and Dave Myers (aka The Hairy Bikers) has toppled E.L. James' BDSM juggernaut on the UK book charts. [Guardian]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.