Both Target and Walmart said that they will drop Mario Batali's products -- including his cookbooks -- from their stores following extensive accusations of sexual harassment. ABC officially fired Batali from their show "The Chew," and the Food Network dropped plans to create new episodes of his earlier TV show,"Molto Mario." On Friday, Batali apologized again in his newsletter: "I have made many mistakes and I am so very sorry that I have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team. My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses."
Well-known indie That Bookstore in Blytheville (Arkansas) has been sold again, and this time the store will change its name, to Blytheville Book Company. the local paper reports that at the end of the holiday season the store will close for "a significant facelift and infrastructure improvements," planning to reopen in March. Andrew and Erin Carrington purchased the store from Chris Crawley (founder Mary Gay Shipley had sold the store in 2012). Manager Debra Caudle underscores, "We want to continue Mary Gay Shipley's legacy for the community."
Separately, James Patterson is giving $350,000 in holiday bonuses to 306 staff members at independent booksellers, announced on the ABA's site.
Bette Howland, 80, author of W-3 and Blue in Chicago and protege of Saul Bellow, died. Howland's Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage is the first title coming from the new book imprint from A Public Space, to be released in 2018.