A NEW SINATRA BIO: James Kaplan has just published a new biography on Frank Sinatra called Frank: The Voice. Geoffrey O’Brien has written a long review, “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” in The New York Review of Books. Kaplan focuses on Sinatra’s early days and tries to understand how this talented, but solitary singer captivated millions. If O’Brien’s article makes you long for a little Sinatra on your stereo, I highly recommend these recordings: Come Fly with Me (a concept album that contains songs about traveling), Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim, and In the Wee Small Hours (arguably the best album Sinatra made).
SALMAN RUSHDIE WORKING WITH SHOWTIME: Deadline reports that writer Salman Rushdie is writing a script for a Showtime drama called Next People, which explores contemporary American life.
A NEW VENUE FOR CREATIVE NON-FICTION: Amazon is now offering novella-length, creative non-fiction for the Kindle. Kindle Singles, as the new micropublishing venture is called, will sell for $2-$3 each. Each article will run between 5,000 and 30,000 words. You can read more about the venture in Wired or in Virginia Heffernan’s final column in the New York Times Magazine. This could be a good development freelance, investigative journalists, who are finding it harder and harder to make a living through traditional media outlets. Is it possible that e-books and micropublishing will revive long-form journalism, as well as short fiction? These forms seem to be a perfect fit for e-readers, mobile phones, and the iPad. I can’t think of a better way to spend time waiting at the airport or on that long subway ride to work.
FRENCH CINEMA: The Guardian is offering its readers “A Short History of French Cinema.” The article includes complete footage of Georges Méliès’ landmark film, A Trip to the Moon. This important work has influenced everyone from The Smashing Pumpkins to Caldecott Medal winner Brian Selznick.
THE BELIEVER AWARDS: The Believer has just announced their picks for The Believer Book Award and The Believer Poetry Award. The winners will be announced in the next issue of the magazine, along with readers’ picks for the best books and poetry of 2010.