The Speed Read

The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown's long-awaited sequel to The Da Vinci Code, will be released by Doubleday on Sept. 15....Vladamir Nabokov's unfinished novel "The Original of Laura" will publish November 3....Let's chuck the Nobel Prize in literature....Aliens, zombies and vampires attack Jane Austen....Dublin reveres the printed word....J.G. Ballard, author of Empire of the Sun, dies of prostate cancer....Sharpen your bodkins: Thursday will be Talk Like Shakespeare Day in Chicago....British thriller writers diss American "production-line authors" like James Patterson, John Grisham and Dan Brown....Australian novels get translated into English. Oh wait, they are in English....Hugo Chavez gives Eduardo Galeano's book, The Open Veins of Latin America, to President Obama and it is now the #2 bestseller on Amazon....But Obama has already revealed his preference for Where the Wild Things Are.

By Rachel Hartigan Shea |  April 20, 2009; 1:55 AM ET
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