Ralph Ellison

On the Books: Nicholas Sparks tops best-seller list; Apple applies for patent on e-book autographs

Nicholas Sparks

Image Credit: Alice M. Arthur

We’re ending the week mostly with a slew of updates on the top book headlines of the month. Check out today’s books news and more below:

Nicholas Sparks tops USA Today’s best-seller list for the 11th time with The Longest Ride. [USA Today]

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On the Books: David Gilmour apologizes for 'teaching women' comment; North Carolina county lifts 'Invisible Man' ban

David Gilmour

Image Credit: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

This morning’s books news is apology-heavy, with an author responding to criticism over an interview and a North Carolina county backtracking on an unsavory decision from last week. Those headlines and more below:

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Author-critic Albert Murray dead at 97

Albert Murray

Image Credit: Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

Albert Murray, the influential novelist and critic who celebrated black culture, scorned black separatism, and was once praised by Duke Ellington as the “unsquarest man I know,” died Sunday. He was 97.

Murray died at home in his sleep, according to Lewis Jones, a family friend and Murray’s guardian.

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Publishers Random House, Penguin complete merger

Random House Inc. and Penguin Group have completed a planned merger that creates the world’s largest publisher of consumer books.

Parent companies Bertelsmann and Pearson said they signed the final contracts on Monday to combine the global activities of the two publishers and create Penguin Random House. Random House parent Bertelsmann will hold 53 percent of the new company and Penguin owner Pearson 47 percent.

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See six jazzy new covers for classic Ralph Ellison titles -- EXCLUSIVE

Ellison Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison, one of the foremost African American authors of the literary canon, fell in love with music before he focused on writing. That’s why designer Cardon Webb researched record art and type from the mid-century jazz era to create fresh new covers for six of Ellison’s seminal works. They’re a change from the muted packaging his books have been getting for years in that they celebrate the raucous, colorful energy of his prose.

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