Welcome to your weekly round-up of book news and literary highlights from The Thread.
This week, Argentina takes the crown for most inventive bookmobile and Amazon puts readers to work finding the next big hit.
"A Weapon of Mass Instruction"To celebrate World Book Day, soda company 7Up teamed up with Raul Lemesoff to spread books around Buenos Aires.
Lemesoff, an artist by trade, transformed a 1979 Ford Falcon into a "Weapon of Mass Instruction" — a tricked-out bookmobile that he tours through Argentinian cities and rural communities, distributing free books.
According to Design Boom, the car's built-in shelves fit about 900 books. No word yet on plans for a world tour.
Kindle is "Scouting" for new writers
Kindle is putting its ravenous readers to work. Through the Kindle Scout program, Amazon allows writers to submit their work for consideration, while interested readers are invited to vote on the manuscripts. The most popular entries are selected for publication. Essentially, Amazon is crowd-sourcing the slush pile.
So far, 35 titles have been selected and released — a mix of romance, mystery and the supernatural.
The fastest-selling adult hardcover fiction debut ever
Penguin announced that Paula Hawkins' riveting thriller "The Girl on the Train" just claimed the record for the fastest-selling adult hardcover fiction debut. The book has perched atop The New York Times bestseller list for nine weeks straight, claiming the No. 1 spot in both hardcover and e-book sales. It has sold more than a million copies — and it was only released in January.
"Nobody expects this, do they?" Hawkins told Entertainment Weekly. "I was optimistic about the book. We had nice feedback from bloggers. But this has been like, Whaaat?"
Why HBO passed on Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections"
Talk of Franzen's hefty novel hitting the airwaves swirled for years, but Studio 360's recent interview with Noah Baumbach digs into why the project was never meant to be.
Baumbach, best known for writing the script for the indie darling "The Squid and the Whale," was hired by HBO to adapt "The Corrections." He worked with Franzen on the screenplay, and they even shot part of the pilot episode, but HBO ultimately passed on the project.
The budget, and the scope, may have doomed the adaptation. "I think I shot it too much like a movie," said Baumbach. "The real reason I think we didn't go forward with it was it was too complex, and it was really too expensive for the kind of show it was going to be."