Today in publishing and literature: The New York Daily News tips its toe into the world of blog blogging with a picture of a semi-nude Truman Capote, Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography was Amazon's top-selling book of 2011, and "China's Amazon" is going to start selling e-books.

  • The New York Daily News has launched a book blog called Page Views. In an introductory post, Daily News deputy op-ed editor Alexander Nazaryan promised that the blog would try to "achieve something beyond the digital flickerings that mark the lives of most blogs." It may have already reached that goal by its second post, which features a picture of a nearly-naked Truman Capote "waitIng for a rubdown after a relaxing whirlpool bath at the gym." Apparently, the shot was taken by photographer Richard Corkery for the paper back in 1966.  [Page Views via The New York Observer]
  • Vanity Fair political correspondent Todd Purdum had signed a deal with Henry Holt imprint Time Books to write a book detailing the behind-the-scenes struggle in Washington to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act. According to a press release from the publisher, Purdum will draw on "unpublished memoirs, oral histories, contemporary news accounts, original archival documents and interviews with the dwindling ranks of surviving participants" for his research. The book, titled More Powerful Than All the Armies: The Story of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, is scheduled for release in the Spring of 2014 to coincide with the bill's 50th anniversary.  [Playbook]
  • Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs was Amazon's top-selling book across all formats in 2011. Considering that the book was only released in October, that's an accomplishment, but it's also worth noting that the no. 4 and no. 9 best-selling titles -- Darcie Chan's The Mill River Recluse and Chris Culver's The Abbey -- were self-published using Kindle Direct and didn't even have print editions. Here's a look at the full list:
  1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  2. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  3. A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
  4. The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan
  5. In the Garden of the Beasts by Erik Larson
  6. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
  7. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
  8. The Litigators by John Grisham
  9. The Abbey by Chris Culver
  10. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

[Amazon]

  • DangDang, which Reuters hopefully notes is "sometimes referred to as China's Amazon.com... as both are best known for selling books online" is going to start selling e-books either late this year or in early 2012. They'll initially stock 50,000 titles, which customers can download to their smartphones or tablets. [Reuters via The Bookseller]