Today in books and publishing: The Los Angeles Times has a new books editor; an onslaught of celebrity books; James Franco casts for As I Lay Dying; female authors take over best-of and best-seller lists.
LA Times' Joy Press promoted to book editor. After two-and-a-half years as the Calendar section's pop culture and deputy television editor, Joy Press has been appointed as the paper's books and culture editor. "Her presence will allow us to expand our coverage of publishing and literary culture, with a special emphasis on ramping up our digital content," Times editor Davan Maharaj and assistant managing editor for features Alice Short wrote in a memo to staff members. Before joining the Times, Press held stints at Melody Maker, Spin, Village Voice and Salon. Along with her music critic husband Simon Reynolds, Press is the co-author of The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion and Rock 'N' Roll. [Los Angeles Times]
As I Lay Groaning. After thoroughly mastering the crafts of acting, fiction and installation art, James Franco has decided he's a director now. This week, he's holding open casting calls in Mississippi for his adaptation of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, currently vying with Cloud Atlas for the Oscar for Strangest Adaptation Choice. Local television station WAPT reports that Franco is looking for "men of all races ages 40 and older, white boys ages 8 to 10, and white women ages 16 to 25." Starting practicing your delivery of "my mother is a fish," child actors. [WAPT]
Are women breaking up the book worlds' boys club? First, we processed the heartening statistic that 63% of books on NPR's list of top 100 Y.A. novels were written by women. Now, we have this Forbes report which shows that female authors have made the most significant leaps on the list of highest-earning authors. With Rowling, Collins, and James leading the way, are women poised to dismantle the publishing world's deeply entrenched gender disparities? [Forbes]
Brace yourself for a deluge of celeb-books. The slate of upcoming books features many titles written by, about and for celebrities (because really, these ghostwritten bores are usually just an excuse to appear on late night talk shows). Billy Crystal will grace us with his thoughts about aging. Cameron Diaz will offer her infinite wisdom on fitness. The books about Marilyn Monroe will apparently never cease. [Washington Post; CBS News; Detroit News]
Sending your galley into the NYT Book Review slush pile? Don't get your hopes up. They only reviewing 1% of submitted titles, says editor and Twizzler fiend Sam Tanenhaus. [The Daily Beast]
The Guardian crunches book sales numbers. Find out the 100 best-selling books of all time. [The Guardian]
Bit-crushed book covers. See Lolita, Catch-22, Moby Dick and other classics in 8-bit. [Slacktory]