On the Books: Kindle Fire updates; MacArthur grant winners | EW.com

Movies | Fifty Shades of Grey

On the Books: Amazon updates Kindle, Fire OS; authors Karen Russell, Donald Antrim receive $625,000 MacArthur grants

Kindle Fire 02

What’s Amazon’s latest for the Kindle? Who received the MacArthur “genius” grants this year? Those books headlines and more questions for you to ponder below:

Amazon announced new Kindle tablets – the 7” Kindle Fire HDX – will begin shipping October 18. The company will also release an updated Fire OS, dubbed “Mojito,” which includes new features like Second Screen and the Mayday button. [AllThingsD]

Authors Karen Russell and Donald Antrim are among 24 MacArthur “genius” fellows, each receiving $625,000 from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to use however they like. [NPR]

In other awards news, poet Alice Oswald won the 2013 Warwick Prize for Memorial, her retelling of Homer. [The Telegraph]

William Boyd, author of the latest James Bond novel, says Bond Girls should be called “Bond Women.” Discuss. [The Telegraph]

Also up for discussion: Do fictional characters have to be likable for us to fall in love with them? Writers Mohsin Hamid and Zoe Heller tackle the question. [New York Times]

Speaking of formerly likable fictional characters, Walter White’s Walt Whitman book from Breaking Bad is up for auction. [LA Times]

Paris Review co-founder and novelist Peter Matthiessen’s book, In Paradise, about a group of people who “come together for a weeklong meditation retreat at the site of a World War II concentration camp,” will be published by Riverhead Books this spring, according to a press release.

No need to blush, romance novel readers. A study found that fans of romance novels are more sensitive, meaning they’re more capable of “reading subtle facial cues, and picking up on the emotions they express.” (And on a related note, ICYMI: E.L. James is producing a line of wines inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey.) [Pacific Standard]

Finally, are you keeping up with Banned Books Week? Join its Twitter party at noon with the hashtag #bannedbooksweek, and check out some other events on their site. [Banned Books Week]

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