Check out the secret literary life of actor Ken Baumann and the Kentucky Derby assignment that paired Hunter S. Thompson with his iconic illustrator.
Here's a look at what's buzzing in the book world today:
New and noteworthy: The book world is certainly buzzing about The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (check out the trailer), the first of a new sci-fi dystopian series that's poised to be the next Hunger Games. Plus, classic spy novelist John Le Carré's newest, A Delicate Truth (3½ stars), and a book about The Mary Tyler Moore show are both out this week.
'Big Daddy': What's Steve Schirripa, best known as intimidating thug Bobby Baccalieri on The Sopranos, up to these days? Laying down the law ... as a father. USA TODAY's Bob Minzesheimer interviews the actor about his new parenting book, Big Daddy's Rules: Raising Daughters Is Tougher Than I Look. While he says he's no expert, Schirripa offers a list of parents "who need to be slapped," including "anyone who puts their kids of a reality show or lets them watch one."
'To Kill a Mockingbird': If only she could hire Atticus Finch. Harper Lee, the 87-year-old author of the 1960 classic To Kill a Mockingbird, has sued her literary agent Samuel Pinkus, saying that he took advantage of her old age and poor health when he took over copyright ownership for her book.
Pablo Neruda's mysterious death: After his body was exhumed last month to investigate claims that he was poisoned by the Pinochet regime, preliminary forensics tests show that the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda had advanced prostate cancer when he died.
'Secret Life' of Ken Baumann: Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens is not the only TV actor with a serious literary career. Ken Baumann, 23, best known to teen girls as Ben on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, is also a writer and the publisher of the small press Sator Press, the Los Angeles Times reveals in a fascinating profile.
'Decadent and Depraved' derby: Here's some trivia for Kentucky Derby fans who already miss their horse races, big hats and mint juleps. The first time Hunter S. Thompson was teamed up with illustrator Ralph Steadman was for an article in Scanlan's literary journal titled "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved." Steadman's trademark style (think Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) would become synonymous with Thompson's writing.