Round-Up: Regnery Publishing, E. B. White, and Pope Francis

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From Regnery Publishing breaking ties with the New York Times to Pope Francis’s new book, here’s the latest in literary news:

Regnery Publishing’s president and publisher Marji Ross has announced that the house is cutting all ties with the New York Times bestseller lists, and will instead use Publishers Weekly lists as benchmarks for author and employee bonuses. According to Ross, the decision stems from a lack of transparency regarding how the Times determines which titles make the list. The paper, which has long maintained that its methodology is a secret, is known only to rely on point-of-sale data from a secret and select list of undisclosed stores to compile the bestsellers lists. Publishers have long expressed concerns that this method can produce skewed and inaccurate results, and may even, according to Ross, prioritize liberal-themed books and authors, which she claims place conservative publishers like Regnery at a disadvantage.

For the first time since the author’s death in 1985, E. B. White’s farm is on the market. White purchased the farm in 1933 for $11,000, having spotted it while sailing with his wife Katharine. The estate is measured at forty-four acres, and includes the boathouse where White wrote the majority of his bestselling children’s novel, Charlotte’s Web. The farm is currently owned by Robert and Mary Gallant, who purchased the land from White’s son following his death. The couple has valued the estate at $3.7 million.

Pan Macmillan imprint Bluebird has acquired a new book by Pope Francis, titled Happiness in This Life: A Passionate Meditation on Material Existence. The book will explore the meaning of—as well as the journey towards—happiness on earth, drawing from both Pope Francis’s past experiences as a priest and his various teachings and testimonies. It follows the publication of his first book, The Name of God is Mercy, released by Bluebird last year. Happiness in This Life is scheduled to be released this December 14, 2017.