Rose FoxAndrew AlbaneseThe countdown begins: Confirmation from Pearson that it is talking to Random House about a merger with Penguin, its trade book publishing division, could see the Big Six drop a notch.

“This would be massive stroke of consolidation for an industry that has been steadily consolidating for decades,” Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly features editor, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “Random is the world’s largest English language publisher, while Pearson clocks in at number one in the Global 50 rankings. Their combined American operations would have sales approaching $2 billion, giving it about between a 15 and 20% share of the total trade market based on BookStats.”

And from the week’s review of reviews, Scientific American columnist Maria Konnikova offers tips to train the brain in Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes. “Starting with Holmes’ concept of the ‘brain attic,’ where care is taken to maximize the use of limited space, Konnikova uses illustrative examples from the original stories to make her points,” notes Rose Fox. “Not for Baker Street Irregulars alone, this fascinating look at how the mind works—replete with real-life case studies and engaging thought experiments—will be an eye-opening education for many.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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