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Friday, January 4, 2013

Book Buzz: Bill O'Reilly's secret, 'The Giver' on big screen

Bill O'Reilly found success this year with his books 'Killing Kennedy' and 'Killing Lincoln.' (Photo: Kathy Willens, AP)

Here's a look at what's buzzing in the book world today:

New and noteworthy: Ready to relax this holiday week? USA TODAY books editor Jocelyn McClurg picks three new reads for every taste, including The Intercept, a thriller by Law & Order creator Dick Wolf, and Empress of Fashion, a biography of legendary editor Diana Vreeland.

Weekend reviews: Elysa Gardner writes that Philip Sington's new novel, The Valley of Unknowing, is "as accessible as it is intricate," giving it 3 stars out of four. And Bob Minzesheimer writes that A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II is "a Christmas story worth retelling" (3 stars).

What to read: Jocelyn McClurg appears on Salon to discuss USA TODAY's 10 books we loved reading and reveals the book that "seems to best encapsulate America in 2012."

O'Reilly's factor: Bill O'Reilly wrote two best-selling books this year, Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln, now No. 3 and No. 8 respectively on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list. The New York Times profiles the Fox News host, exploring his literary success and why his secret is to "write for the ear, not for the eye." Watch a USA TODAY video with O'Reilly and read more about his research for Killing Kennedy from Bob Minzesheimer.

'The Giver' on screen: Before The Hunger Games popularized the young adult dystopian genre, Lois Lowry found fame with her 1994 Newbery Medal-winning novel The Giver. GalleyCat reports Lowry has confirmed that a film is "finally on the road," and plans are for Jeff Bridges to star.

Pulitzer-worthy advice:Middlesex author Jeffrey Eugenides quotes his good friend Christopher Hitchens when addressing the 2012 Whiting Award winners: "A serious person should try to write posthumously," not conforming to the fashion of the time. An adaptation of his speech about achieving success as a writer is posted at The New Yorker.

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