Secrets have been revealed about Dan Brown's new book--that is, the title, which has been secret--but only after eager readers solved a puzzle.
Dante's "Inferno" is the inspiration for Brown's latest mystery/thriller, "Inferno," which will be released May 14 in the United States and Canada. Random House today announced a planned first printing of a staggering 4 million copies. It will also be available as an e-book and audiobook.
"Inferno" brings back the character Robert Langdon from Brown's previous novels, "The DaVinci Code" and "The Lost Symbol."
Like his previous books, "Inferno" is steeped in codes, symbols, secret passageways, riddles and puzzles. It will be set in Italy.
“When we turn the first page of a new Dan Brown novel, we step into a world that seamlessly infuses fascinating history, art, symbols and puzzles," Brown's editor, Jason Kaufman at Doubleday, said in a press release. "This is Dan’s unique ability. In Inferno, we have the added excitement of following Robert Langdon back to the heart of Europe, where he becomes entwined in a mystery that has global ramifications…tied to the ominous and truly mesmerizing details of Dante’s masterful work.”
The title of Brown's book was released today after readers--through tweeting and posting on Facebook, using the hashtag #DanBrown--uncovered hidden squares in a mosaic. Each tweet or mention released one square.
The book's cover has not yet been released. Perhaps more fun and games soon?
James Patterson, who is a business all unto himself (it's pretty well known that he doesn't write every single word of every single novel himself, you know--and how could he? He published 11 books last year), tops the list of highest-paid authors overwhelmingly.
Note that these staggering figures are not net worth; they're an estimate of how much each writer earned in 2011.
Forbes magazine reports that the estimates were made by "talk[ing] to authors, agents, publishers and other experts and review[ing] data including Nielsen BookScan sales figures."
Poets, essayists, writers of short stories and literary fiction--I'm sorry. Apparently to crack this list you have to write about torrid romance, dismembered bodies, serial killers, vampires, or, possibly, brilliant attorneys duking in out in high courtroom drama. Selling movie rights doesn't hurt. Or you could try porn; E.L. James is fully expected to make this list for 2012.
Read 'em and weep.
We thought you'd get a kick out of these photos, taken by the folks at Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis, who looked out the window and saw this patient man waiting for the store to open:
Some people line up for the "Hunger Games" or "Twilight"; with Andy Sturdevant--artist, writer, arts administrator--it's "The Passage of Power," the latest in the series of Lyndon Johnson biographies by Robert A. Caro. (You can read our review here.)
"This is my 'Harry Potter' release!" Sturdevant told the folks at Magers and Quinn. Wondering why? Read the AP's Hillel Italie's story on the popularity of the Caro books.
Fortunately for all concerned, Magers & Quinn did open on time, and the Caro book was in stock. A story with a happy ending.
We can argue endlessly about paper books vs e-books--about whether or not a book that is interactive and embedded with video is destroying our attention span, and about whether or not anything read on a screen is actually a "book." But you can't argue with a bargain.
The Minnesota Historical Society Press has priced ten of its history titles--ebooks only--at $4.99 through the end of January:
The Assassination of Hole in the Day by Anton Treuer
Spirit Car by Diane Wilson
Creating Minnesota by Annette Atkins
Twin Cities Picture Show by Dave Kenney
Hmong in Minnesota by Chia Youyee Vang
Minneapolis in the Twentieth Century by Iric Nathanson
Norwegians on the Prairie by Odd S. Lovoll
Pale Horse at Plum Run by Brian Leehan
The Story of Cole Younger by Cole Younger
The Voyageur by Grace Lee Nute
Suddenly, the argument switches: Kindle? Nook? iPad?
Perhaps you've heard of World Book Night, a magical day last March when a million books were handed out across the United Kingdom and Ireland--books by Seamus Heaney, John Le Carre, Nigel Slater, Muriel Sparks. What a lovely thing, to be hurrying to work or the grocery store or sitting in the park minding the baby and to have a smiling volunteer suddenly hold out a free paperback book.
Now, World Book Night is spreading to the United States. On Monday, April 23, an estimated 50,000 volunteers will give away a million books, in nursing homes, in hospitals, in schools, in coffee shops and malls, on the street--wherever they see a likely person who looks as though they could use a good read.
What better way to start a Monday?
Thirty titles have been chosen for World Book Night, and 35,000 copies of each title will be printed in special "not-for-resale" paperback editions. The list is nicely varied: Sherman Alexie, Kate DiCamillo, Leif Enger. Buzz Bissinger--something for everyone.
Said DiCamillo, in a press release, 'It makes perfect sense to me that World Book Night will take place in the spring. Extending your hand to give someone a book, a story, is a gesture of hope and joy. It is a chance for all of us, givers and receivers, to break into blossom."
Anna Quindlen will serve as national chairperson. "What's better than a good book?" she said in a press release. "A whole box of them, and the opportunity to share them with new readers."
World Book Night is a nonprofit organization, and is supported by publishers, booksellers, and libraries. Last year's giveaway in the UK reportedly helped boost sales of several of the titles, despite fears from one horrified Scottish bookseller that the massive giveaway was misguided. (It's worth noting that the cost of the giveaway is being underwritten by publishers, printers and paper companies, and all 30 writers have waived their royalties, according to USA Today.)
If you're interested in volunteering to give away books in 2012, you have until Feb. 1 to sign up. Some folks who took part last year blogged about it--here's one from an English gent, who found it a little more difficult to give books away than he had thought. And here's one from an English woman, who had more success.
Here's the link to the U.S. site. (If you get the UK site, click on the American flag.)
And here's the list of 30,which includes several Minnesota writers. (Neil Gaiman, who we like to claim as ours, is on the British list.)
"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," by Sherman Alexie.
"Wintergirls," by Laurie Halse Anderson
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," by Maya Angelou
"Friday Night Lights," by H.G. Bissinger
"Kindred," by Octavia E. Butler
"Ender's Game," by Orson Scott Card
"Little Bee," by Chris Cleave
"The Hunger Games," by Suzanne Collins
"Blood Work," by Michael Connelly
"The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," by Junot Diaz, and the Spanish-language edition, "La Breve y Maravilllosa Vida de Oscar Wao."
"Because of Winn-Dixie," by Kate DiCamillo
"Zeitoun," by Dave Eggers
"Peace Like a River," by Leif Enger
"A Reliable Wife," by Robert Goolrick
"Q is for Quarry," by Sue Grafton
"The Kite Runner," by Khaled Hosseini
"A Prayer for Owen Meaney," by John Irving
"The Stand," by Stephen King
"The Poisonwood Bible," by Barbara Kingsolver
"The History of Love," by Nicole Krauss
"The Namesake," by Jhumpa Lahiri
"The Things They Carried," by Tim O'Brien
"Bel Canto," by Ann Patchett
"My Sister's Keeper," by Jodi Picoult
"Housekeeping," by Marilynne Robinson
"The Lovely Bones," by Alice Sebold
"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," by Rebecca Skloot
"Just Kids," by Patti Smith
"The Glass Castle," by Jeannette Walls
"The Book Thief," by Markus Zusak.
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