Sean Connery during the making of the James Bond film "Never Say Never Again."
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
- A new James Bond novel by William Boyd will come out in the U.S. in October. The novel will be a return to the "classic" Bond, and will be set in the 1960s. Ian Fleming, the original Bond author, died in 1964.
- Novelist Benjamin Percy made a charmingly unfiltered appearance on the Today show to talk about his time wearing a pregnancy suit for a feature in GQ. Asked by visibly confused guest host Steve Harvey why he chose to don the suit, Percy explained: "To make up for my mouth-breathing, hairy-chested, caveman deficiencies." Harvey just blinked.
- Author and prominent anti-feminist Suzanne Venker on what Jane Austen teaches us about love: "When women make themselves so available to men, the thrill of the chase is gone. The harder you are to 'catch,' the more interesting you become." Whether or not Jane Austen thought so, her silliest Pride and Prejudice character Mr. Collins did, calling it "the usual practice of elegant females."
- Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace will be adapted into a six-part BBC miniseries.
- Hilary Mantel, novelist and two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize, writes about "Royal Bodies" in a thoughtful essay for the London Review of Books: "Our current royal family doesn't have the difficulties in breeding that pandas do, but pandas and royal persons alike are expensive to conserve and ill-adapted to any modern environment. ... Some people find them endearing; some pity them for their precarious situation; everybody stares at them, and however airy the enclosure they inhabit, it's still a cage."
- Mary Beard, the wonderfully witchy classicist and writer, tells The New York Times about being the object of vicious online attacks that were "pornographic, violent, sexist, misogynist and also frightfully silly." She came under fire, the Times writes, "after she appeared on a weekly BBC debate show last month and, while discussing immigration, expressed the unpopular view that Britain's social services would not be overburdened when restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian movement around Europe are lifted next year."