Novelist Beth Hoffman, whose debut, Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt, was a reader favorite of 2010, has shared an excerpt from her second novel on her website. We hear that Looking for Me will be published in early 2013.
Upon the publication of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom, BookPage reader favorite Jennifer Weiner suggested that the New York Times reviews male authors more often than female authors (and takes them more seriously, overall). This week, more than a year after Freedom, Weiner published a blog post that analyzes the Times' review record. Find the numbers here—her main conclusion is that, yes, the Times is doing better . . . but they still have a long way to go.
Yesterday was Edgar Allen Poe's birthday, but it seems the "Poe toaster"—the unidentified individual who, for more than 50 years, left a bottle of cognac and 3 roses on the poets grave—has given up the ghost. After the mysterious toaster failed to appear for the third year in a row on Wednesday night, the curator of the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum has pronounced the tradition over. "What I'll miss most is the excitement of waiting to see if he's going to show up," he told the Baltimore Sun.
You would have had to be living under a rock for the past few days to have missed the news about SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy act) and PIPA (the PROTECT IP Act)—the controversial bills that would fight online piracy. Given the many millions of dollars of profit that are lost when books, movies and music are stolen online, a bill to stop that sounds like great idea . . . but many tech companies (like Wikipedia and Google) believe that these particular laws are too broad and that enforcing them would constitute Internet censorship and violate the First Amendment. Wikipedia was among the many sites that went black on Wednesday to protest the bills.
Literary agent Kristin Nelson has published a helpful blog post that rounds up a links from experts explaining the issues. She writes: "Despite the backing of almost every major publisher, I do believe that both Acts overreach in their scope and there will be serious ramifications if passed."