Today in books and publishing: Dave Eggers likes to read in the tub; play matchmaker in a new Jane Austen Facebook game; you'll never guess which BDSM-themed book is making waves in India; and Neil Gaiman announces a Sandman prequel.
Dave Eggers reads in the bathtub. Lit mogul Dave Eggers has a new interview over at the The New York Times. He spends a good chunk of time talking up books and authors from his own publishing house, so it reads a bit like an advertisement for McSweeney's at points. But in between plugs we learn that Eggers enjoys ghost stories, encourages kids to write about farting hamsters, and this: "Most of my books have gotten wet because I read in the tub." [The New York Times]
It's like FarmVille for Janeites. There's a new Facebook game in which players are invited to, "Join the original social networker, Jane Austen, and her beloved characters in this free-to-play hidden object game set in Regency England." Your goal is to help Austen reunite Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet, who've mysteriously vanished from the pages of Pride and Prejudice. To achieve this end, you go around looking for tea cups and decorating rooms in Pemberley, which makes a lot of sense. [New York Daily News]
Fifty Shades sweeps India. Western readers aren't the only ones catching Fifty Shades fever. E. L. James' novel has sold over 100,000 copies in India, surpassing the popularity of Dan Brown's thrillers and even the Harry Potter series in that country. According to The Times of India, "once-shunned sexual content is finally coming out of the closet" in Inida. "It's probably the lure of the forbidden, and the combination of kinky sex and hidden desires that's getting people to pick up this book," says Bharat Amin of the Mumbai Noble Booksellers Welfare Association. [The Times of India]
Neil Gaiman is a busy guy. Fresh off his multi-book deal with HarperCollins, Neil Gaiman has announced that he'll write a prequel to his beloved comic book series The Sandman for DC Comics imprint Vertigo. The mini-series—to be released in 2013—will be drawn by Batwoman artist J. H. Williams, according to this video played at Vertigo's Comic Con panel. It's been nearly 25 years since Gaiman began working on the series that cemented his fame. The author says his prequel will "explain what Morpheus had been doing before Sandman #1 began." [The Mary Sue]