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Book news: Apple, Oscars, e-readers, and a new literary offering

January 24, 2012 | 10:19 am


Oscar nominations were announced this morning; 6 out of 10 best picture nominees were adapted from  books. "The Descendants" comes from the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings; "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" from the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer; "The Help" from the debut novel by Kathryn Stockett;  "Hugo" from the middle grade book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Selznik; "Moneyball" from the nonfiction book by Michael Lewis; and "War Horse" from the middle grade book by Michael Morpurgo. While it didn't get a best picture nod, the bestseller "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" wasn't totally overlooked: It is up for cinematography, editing, sound editing, sound mixing, and Rooney Mara is nominated for best actress.

Jay-Z was among the winners at the Publishing Innovation Awards on Monday night in New York. Announced at the opening night of the Digital Book World conference, the Publishing Innovation Awards honor excellence in e-books and beyond. Jay-Z himself was not on hand to accept the prize.

Last week, when Apple announced its sort-of-garage-band-for-e-textbooks, your faithful scribe was on a plane -- without wifi! -- and unable to get to the story. Over at Wired, Tim Carmody has done the heavy lifting; he followed the announcement, then explained why e-textbooks are the kind of big business Apple would want to get into.

Over the holidays, e-readers were popular to give -- so much so that I wonder if some purchasers used the one-for-you, one-for-me method. According to a new study, 19% of American adults now own an e-reader or tablet. Among college grads, the number is very high: 31%.

Today the Chicago Tribune announced a 24-page weekly literary supplement, Printers Row. For an annual subscription of $149 ($99 for Chicago Tribune subscribers), readers will get news, reviews, interviews, and Chicago-focused literary content. They'll also get VIP access to some Chicago-area book events -- Printers Row takes its name from the Tribune's annual book festival. Single electronic editions of Printers Row will be available from Amazon for $2.99.


Fourth graders ask Universal to let the Lorax speak for the trees

George R.R. Martin at the Golden Globes

"Downton Abbey" fever reaches forgotten author Elizabeth Von Arnim

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photos: George Clooney, left, in "The Descendants," and Brad Pitt in "Moneyball."  Credits: Fox Searchlight and Columbia TriStar