*E-books made history this holiday season by outselling print books on Christmas Day, Amazon announced. Interestingly, however, when GalleyCat looked into the sales numbers, it turned out 64 of the 100 bestselling e-books were, in fact, free - including the no. 1. Hmm...
*Popular fantasy and sci-fi writer Ursula K Le Guin publicly resigned from the Authors Guild over its decision to support Google's digitization of millions of books, accusing it of making a "deal with the devil." Le Guin had been a member of the Guild for nearly forty years.
*Stephen King and his wife, Tabitha, donated $12,999 to bring 150 members of Maine's National Guard home for the holidays (he thought 13 was too unlucky). The soldiers are currently stationed in Indiana, awaiting deployment to Afghanistan in January. Doesn't that just leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside?
*Unfriend was named word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary, with defriend receiving the same honor from the Oxford English Dictionary. Tweetups, jeggings and snollygosters also top the venerable volume's list of most popular new words. (Although, technically, snollygoster dates from 1855 and was only recently revived.)
*After more than a year, Baltimore officials have finally decided where to place their gigantic bust of native son Frank Zappa. Donated by a group of Zappa's fans in Lithuania, the bust will be installed outside the public library in Highlandtown.
*The Sunday Times has a brilliant roundup of the year's best literary quotes, divided into categories including "VS Naipaul award for most repellent author," "Best Luddite," and "Eeyore of the year award for literary misery." My personal favorite:
“My husband can’t remember any names. We must have been married for 10 years when, in an airport, he met an ex-colleague. Introductions ensued: 'And this is my wife, Elizabeth,' said my husband. I — inconveniently — said I wasn’t Elizabeth. So the ex-colleague presumed that there was a wife, Elizabeth, who was elsewhere. It was all rather tricky.” From column by Gill Hornby, aka Mrs. Robert Harris, The Daily Telegraph*And, because I'm too lazy to make one myself, here's a handy review of the year in books by The Guardian.