– Amazon is coming to Midtown. The The Wall Street Journal reports that the online giant is set to open its first brick-and-mortar store at 7 W. 34th St. in Manhattan, directly across the street from the Empire State Building. Herald Square, Madison Square Garden, Penn Station—major hubs for locals and tourists alike—are all a block or two away from the retailer-savvy location. In addition to the nearby stores (like the Macy’s flagship location, Forever 21, and H&M)—as well as a smartly timed opening just in time for the holiday shopping season—Amazon’s first serious venture into face-to-face consumer interaction is poised to bring in a lot of foot traffic. (They experimented with a popup Kindle shop in San Francisco last year.) In August, a peak number of about 6,000 people per hour passed in front of the H&M on the same block. Amazon has declined to comment on the story. [The Wall Street Journal]
– Girls actress and creator Lena Dunham is the kind of girl to top bestsellers lists with her debut book. Dunham’s collection of personal essays, is currently second on The New York Times bestsellers list for nonfiction, print and ebook sales combined—and No. 1 on the ebook-only nonfiction list. The book sold about 38,000 hardcovers in the week following its release on Sept. 30, according to Nielsen Bookscan (whose data covers approximately 85 percent of all book sales).
– Over on the fiction side, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is still not gone from the Times bestsellers list after 122 weeks—rather, her thriller is No. 1 for the first time. No doubt, the boost in sales is due to David Fincher’s critically acclaimed film adaptation of the book (the box-office winner for the second week in a row after its Oct. 3 release), for which Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay. Meanwhile, the success of the book and movie has supercharged sales of Flynn’s other works. Dark Places is No. 14 on the combined fiction list while the digital-only compilation The Complete Gillian Flynn is No. 14 on the ebook fiction list.
– German author Siegfried Lenz died at the age of 88 last week, according to his publisher Hoffmann & Campe. Lenz was acclaimed for stories and novels that explored Nazism and German identity. He was a member of Gruppe 47, “a literary cohort that encouraged democracy, free expression and confrontation with Germany’s Nazi era,” according to The New York Times.
– Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carolyn Kizer died in Calif. last week at the age of 89 of complications related to dementia. She was known for writing witty, fine-tuned and politically charged poems, many of which highlighted feminist issues. [The Washington Post]