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Year-in-review: No book-world shattering events but plenty of material

  • This book cover image released by Mulholland Books shows "The Cuckoo’s Calling,"  by Robert Galbraith, a pseudonym for author J.K. Rowling. Robert Galbraith's "The Cuckoo's Calling" was just another debut thriller until Galbraith was unmasked as J.K. Rowling, a delight for readers and booksellers and a puzzler for critics who wondered why they didn't catch on. (AP Photo/Mulholland Books)

    This book cover image released by Mulholland Books shows "The Cuckoo’s Calling," by Robert Galbraith, a pseudonym for author J.K. Rowling. Robert Galbraith's "The Cuckoo's Calling" was just another debut thriller until Galbraith was unmasked as J.K. Rowling, a delight for readers and booksellers and a puzzler for critics who wondered why they didn't catch on. (AP Photo/Mulholland Books)

  • FILE - In this  Aug. 8, 2013, file photo, author Veronica Roth poses for a portrait in Chicago. The 25-year-old Chicagoan is author of the best-selling dystopian teen trilogy that includes "Divergent," "Insurgent" and the third and final book, "Allegiant." No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014.  (AP Photo/Scott Eisen, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2013, file photo, author Veronica Roth poses for a portrait in Chicago. The 25-year-old Chicagoan is author of the best-selling dystopian teen trilogy that includes "Divergent," "Insurgent" and the third and final book, "Allegiant." No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014. (AP Photo/Scott Eisen, File)

  • FILE - This May 21, 2013 file photo shows Khaled Hosseini, author of "And the Mountains Echoed," before a book signing event at Barnes & Noble in New York. No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    FILE - This May 21, 2013 file photo shows Khaled Hosseini, author of "And the Mountains Echoed," before a book signing event at Barnes & Noble in New York. No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • This book cover image released by Alfred A. Knopf shows "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" by Sheryl Sandberg. The title of Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In" became a catchphrase and the Facebook executive's manifesto for working women inspired thousands of discussion groups worldwide.  (AP Photo/Alfred A. Knopf)

    This book cover image released by Alfred A. Knopf shows "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" by Sheryl Sandberg. The title of Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In" became a catchphrase and the Facebook executive's manifesto for working women inspired thousands of discussion groups worldwide. (AP Photo/Alfred A. Knopf)

  • This book cover image released by Riverhead Books shows "And the Mountains Echoed," by Khaled Hosseini.  No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014.  (AP Photo/Riverhead Books)

    This book cover image released by Riverhead Books shows "And the Mountains Echoed," by Khaled Hosseini. No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014. (AP Photo/Riverhead Books)

  • This book cover image released by The Penguin Press shows "Double Down: Game Change 2012," by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.  Two gossipy political best sellers, Mark Leibovich's "This Town" and Halperin's and Heilemann's "Double Down," showed that disapproval of Washington has much in common with scorn for Hollywood. (AP Photo/The Penguin Press)

    This book cover image released by The Penguin Press shows "Double Down: Game Change 2012," by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Two gossipy political best sellers, Mark Leibovich's "This Town" and Halperin's and Heilemann's "Double Down," showed that disapproval of Washington has much in common with scorn for Hollywood. (AP Photo/The Penguin Press)

  • This book cover image released by Disney Hyperion shows "The House of Hades," by Rick Riordan. No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014. (AP Photo/Disney Hyperion)

    This book cover image released by Disney Hyperion shows "The House of Hades," by Rick Riordan. No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014. (AP Photo/Disney Hyperion)

  • This book cover image released by Katherine Tegen Books shows "Allegiant," the final book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014.  (AP Photo/Katherine Tegen Books)

    This book cover image released by Katherine Tegen Books shows "Allegiant," the final book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014. (AP Photo/Katherine Tegen Books)

  • This book cover image released by Mulholland Books shows "The Cuckoo’s Calling,"  by Robert Galbraith, a pseudonym for author J.K. Rowling. Robert Galbraith's "The Cuckoo's Calling" was just another debut thriller until Galbraith was unmasked as J.K. Rowling, a delight for readers and booksellers and a puzzler for critics who wondered why they didn't catch on. (AP Photo/Mulholland Books)
  • FILE - In this  Aug. 8, 2013, file photo, author Veronica Roth poses for a portrait in Chicago. The 25-year-old Chicagoan is author of the best-selling dystopian teen trilogy that includes "Divergent," "Insurgent" and the third and final book, "Allegiant." No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014.  (AP Photo/Scott Eisen, File)
  • FILE - This May 21, 2013 file photo shows Khaled Hosseini, author of "And the Mountains Echoed," before a book signing event at Barnes & Noble in New York. No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • This book cover image released by Alfred A. Knopf shows "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" by Sheryl Sandberg. The title of Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In" became a catchphrase and the Facebook executive's manifesto for working women inspired thousands of discussion groups worldwide.  (AP Photo/Alfred A. Knopf)
  • This book cover image released by Riverhead Books shows "And the Mountains Echoed," by Khaled Hosseini.  No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014.  (AP Photo/Riverhead Books)
  • This book cover image released by The Penguin Press shows "Double Down: Game Change 2012," by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.  Two gossipy political best sellers, Mark Leibovich's "This Town" and Halperin's and Heilemann's "Double Down," showed that disapproval of Washington has much in common with scorn for Hollywood. (AP Photo/The Penguin Press)
  • This book cover image released by Disney Hyperion shows "The House of Hades," by Rick Riordan. No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014. (AP Photo/Disney Hyperion)
  • This book cover image released by Katherine Tegen Books shows "Allegiant," the final book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. No mega-sellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James' "Fifty Shades of Gray" or Stieg Larsson's crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose "Divergent" series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014.  (AP Photo/Katherine Tegen Books)

In 2013, everything and nothing happened in the publishing industry.

It was a blockbuster year for the legal profession. A federal judge ruled that Apple had conspired with five publishers to fix e-book prices, while another federal judge allowed Google to continue scanning books – without the permission of authors or publishers – for a digital library.

The market used to be defined by six major New York publishers. But government lawyers cleared the merger of Random House Inc. and Penguin Group (USA), creating the world’s largest producer of books, and according to industry consultant Mike Shatzkin, a “new top tier.”

“No longer do the ‘Big Six’ define scale,” Shatzkin says. “Now there is the Big One and the Following Four.”

But with e-book sales leveling off, and independent stores relatively stable after a long era of decline, little changed for the vast majority of people who buy or borrow books, beyond, of course, the books themselves.

No megasellers came out in 2013, nothing that compared with E L James’s Fifty Shades of Grey or Stieg Larsson’s crime novels. Adult readers turned to dependable favorites such as Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini, while teens and grade-schoolers stuck with Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney and Veronica Roth, whose Divergent series is set to debut on the big screen in 2014.

Several books managed to get people not just reading, but talking.

The title of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In became a catchphrase and the Facebook executive’s manifesto for working women inspired thousands of discussion groups worldwide. Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling was just another debut thriller until Galbraith was unmasked as J.K. Rowling, a delight for readers and booksellers and a puzzler for critics who wondered why they didn’t catch on. Baz Luhrmann’s booming adaptation of The Great Gatsby made F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel a top seller and intensified a decades-long discussion about his Jazz Age classic of status and reinvention.

Two gossipy political best-sellers, Mark Leibovich’s This Town and Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s Double Down, showed that disapproval of Washington has much in common with scorn for Hollywood or the rich folks of Fitzgerald’s fiction: Readers like to know how the misbehavers misbehave, the closer to home the better.

“People inside the beltway are always interested in what’s going on with people inside the beltway,” says Mark LaFramboise, a buyer for the Washington, D.C.-based Politics & Prose Bookstore.

Some books are so wished for that just the idea of them starts conversations. A biography and film about J.D. Salinger included the most specific details yet for rumored posthumous releases by the secretive author of The Catcher in the Rye. At least five books are planned, said Shane Salerno and David Shields, with new works possibly coming as soon as 2015.

Neither Salinger’s literary estate nor his longtime publisher, Little Brown and Co., have commented on the news. They also haven’t denied it.

“People would be fascinated by anything from Salinger,” said Stephanie Hochschild, owner of The Book Stall in Winnetka, Ill.

In 2013, customers at the Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Ariz., sought out a history of the only Native American to defeat the U.S. military, The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin. In Manhattan, a reissue of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Woman Destroyed was purchased by hundreds of people at the McNally Jackson Books, a choice “based on its excellent new package,” said store owner Sarah McNally.

One of the year’s biggest “word of mouth” hits has been Jo Jo Moyes’s novel “Me Before You,” which has sold more than 100,000 copies just for its e-book edition, according to Penguin. Hochschild said local reading groups love Moyes’s story of a quadriplegic and his caregiver. Another hit at the Book Stall has been The Boys In the Boat, Daniel James Brown’s biography of the American rowing team at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany.

“We can’t keep it on the shelf,” Hochschild says. “It’s a book about history and a book about human drama. It has something for everybody.”

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