Oprah Picks 'The Road'

Cormac McCarthy's The Road was Oprah Winfrey's surprise choice as the latest selection for her book club. In another surprise, McCarthy, notoriously shy about publicity, will do an interview with Winfrey that will air on her show this spring. To meet the expected demand, Anchor has rushed out 950,000 copies of the paperback, originally scheduled for September 2007.

Books Flat at Hastings

Hastings Entertainment reported that same-store sales of books for the year ended January 31 were even with the previous year. Hastings attributed the flat results to weak sales of new hardcovers, which offset strong sales of mass market paperbacks and higher used book sales. Total revenue at the multimedia chain rose 2% in the year, to $548.3 million, and net income dropped nearly 12%, to $5.0 million. For the current year, Hastings predicted that net income will be $6.4 million to $7 million, with comp sales rising in low single digits. The chain will open three new stores.

Warner Now Grand Central

Hachette Book Group USA has changed the name of its Warner Books imprint to Grand Central Publishing. The new name will begin appearing on the publisher's fall titles. HBG senior v-p Jamie Raab said the name was picked in part to reflect the variety of books the publisher does as well as its new headquarters on Park Avenue, just north of Grand Central Terminal. HBG will move to its new office this month.

'LAT Book Review' Redesigned

The Los Angeles Times will debut its new Sunday book coverage April 15 as part of a new section called Opinion that will combine the Book Review with the Currents section. Tim Rutten, an associate features editor at LAT, explained that the Review and Opinion will be two distinct sections, bound together. One of the sections will be printed upside down and both the Book Review and Opinion will have their own cover and back page. The Sunday book review will lose at least two printed pages, but Rutten said book coverage will be expanded in the newspaper throughout the week and on the Times 's redesigned Web site.

The Final Cover

Scholastic released the jacket artwork for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last week. The cover image is by Mary GrandPré, who also created the artwork for all previous U.S. editions of J.K. Rowling's books. For the first time, the jacket image is a full wrap-around, replete with possible clues to how the series will end.

Court Rules For Abate

A U.S. District Court judge last week denied ICM's request for a preliminary injunction that would have prevented its former employee, agent Richard Abate, from starting a literary division at rival Endeavor before his contract ran out at the end of this year. Although Abate is free to sign clients, the case now goes to arbitration to decide whether Abate or Endeavor will pay any monetary damages to ICM.

Chooseco Sues Over Ad

Chooseco LLC, the company behind the book series Choose Your Own Adventure, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit on Tuesday against Daimler Chrysler, charging that its brand was invoked without permission for an ad campaign for the Jeep Patriot. The campaign was launched on March 13 and features TV, print and online spots, some with the tagline "Choose Your Adventure," and includes interactive elements that permits Web surfers to develop their own story.

Kenyon Goes Graphic

St. Martin's Press will publish graphic novel adaptations of two prose novels from bestselling fantasy novelist Sherilynn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series, Night Pleasure and Night Embrace . This summer Marvel Comics will also serialize two works, Sword of Darkness and Night of Darkness, written by Kenyon under the pen name Kinley MacGregor.

J. Randall Williams Dies at 94

J. Randall Williams III, longtime senior manager at Little, Brown, died at his home in Brewster, Mass., March 22. He was 94. Williams joined the Macmillan Company in 1937 as its New York sales rep, eventually rising to editor-in-chief. In 1955 he joined Little, Brown as an editor, and later moved to Boston to become general manager.

He worked with such authors as J.D. Salinger, Lillian Hellman and Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella. After retiring in 1975, Williams worked as consultant to the Atlantic Monthly, acting director of MIT Press and as a literary agent. He is the father-in-law of Gerald Howard, executive editor at Doubleday Broadway.