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Book News: Google, Barnes & Noble Team Up To Take On Amazon

Gene J. Puskar

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

  • Google and Barnes & Noble are working together to compete with Amazon on same-day delivery of books, The New York Times reports. Beginning today, the Internet giant and the struggling retailer will offer same-day delivery to customers in parts of New York and California. Barnes & Noble CEO Michael P. Huseby tells the Times that the service is a test, adding, "It's our attempt to link the digital and physical." Amazon announced Wednesday that it plans to broaden the reach of its own same-day shipping program, expanding from four cities to 10. Barnes & Noble has struggled to contend with competition from Amazon in recent years, and the bookseller announced last year that it planned to close a third of its stores over the next decade.
  • John Freeman, the former Granta editor who is coming out with a series of anthologies, talks to Publishers Weekly: "That's what we read for, I think, to get closer, to ask questions the structures of our lives sometimes obscures: what do we think about? How do we dream? What barriers do we face to being human? What deserves to be witnessed?"
  • Carrie Brownstein of Portlandia will complete Nora Ephron's unfinished screenplay for Lost in Austen, a movie based on the British miniseries of the same name. According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Lost in Austen revolves around Amanda, who lives and works in present-day Brooklyn. Suddenly, she finds herself transported back in time and into the fictional world of classic novel Pride and Prejudice."
  • The finalists for the FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year were announced, and include Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century and Michael Lewis' Flash Boys.
  • In Guernica, Evie Wyld is interviewed about the writing process: "I think there's over-telling sometimes, in fiction. For instance, I'm a big fan of horror movies, but I could always lose the last third of them. There's the brilliant exciting scary thing that's going on, and then they have to show you the monster, and the monster turns out to be a giant spider from space and then you push it over and it's dead. ... There's a desire to simplify everything so that you can lace it up, pack it away in a box, and never think about it again. I'm much more interested in leaving the reader wondering what's happened, and wondering what's going on now."
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Annalisa Quinn is a contributing writer, reporter, and literary critic for NPR. She created NPR's Book News column and covers literature and culture for NPR.

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