The 45s are live: Our colleagues on the Kindle side launched their first Kindle Singles list today, 20 shorter nonfiction works, each "expressed at its natural length" of 5,000 to 30,000 words. Take my being impressed with my own company with a grain of salt, of course, but it's an attractive lineup, with a lot of writers (like Darin Strauss, Mark Greif, Jonathan Littell, Cristina Nehring) whose bylines I'd perk up at if I saw them in a magazine table of contents. While writing this post I pulled the 1-ClickTM trigger on two items already: Piano Demon, Brendan Koerner's profile of expatriate jazzman Teddy Weatherford and, most delicious, The Real Lebowski, the smart and funny Rich Cohen on the one-of-a-kind cultural figure John Milius, the Red Dawn and Conan auteur who wrote many of the iconic films of the '70s and steals the show in the Eleanor Coppola's great making-of-Apocalypse-Now documentary, Hearts of Darkness. (Though side note: the title of the Single is misleading, since Milius wasn't the Coen bros' model for the Dude himself, but for his heavily armed bowling teammate Walter Sobchak.)
The last Minimalist: Mark Bittman fans are mourning the final installment yesterday in the 13-year run of The Minimalist, his NYT cooking column beloved for recipes and techniques of often game-changing simplicity. He'll now be writing a recipe column in the Times Magazine and contributing pieces on food matters to their op-ed page, but readers can also turn (or turn back) to his bestsellers like How to Cook Everything and The Food Matters Cookbook.
Top Costa: The UK's Costa Book Awards announced their overall Book of the Year: Jo Shapcott's Of Mutability, which won their poetry category prize earlier this month and topped better known competitors (and former Amazon Best of the Month picks) The Hand That First Held Mine and The Hare with Amber Eyes.
Moving and shaking: News of the final report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, in which the Democratic-appointed majority who signed the report "casts a wide net of blame" for the 2008 meltdown, has pushed the print version of the report high on this morning's Movers and Shakers list.