Former longtime USA Today books reporter and critic Bob Minzesheimer, 66, died October 15 at his home in Ossining, NY of brain cancer. Minzesheimer joined Gannett in 1982, eventually becoming politics editor for USA Today before moving over to books and features from 1997 through 2014. He is survived by his wife, the documentary filmmaker Mary McDonagh Murphy, and their two children. A memorial service is planned in Ossining at a later date. Murphy told the local paper, “Nobody in his family went to college. Bob got his master’s at Columbia. His life was more than what he thought it would be, and he was very clear about that. He lived in the world of ideas. He lived there and he knew what a privilege that was.”
Judy Verses joins Wiley next week as executive vice president, research, taking over Philip Carpenter, who is retiring “with our affection and gratitude.” Verses has been president, global enterprise & education at Rosetta Stone. Previously, she had been president and chief client officer at Blackboard.
Lucy Abrahams is now scouting for Alma Littera in Lithuania.
The shortlist for the Baillie Gifford Prize in Nonfiction has been announced, with the winner to be named on November 10:
Second-hand Time, by Svetlana Alexievich, translated by Bela Shayevich (Fitzcarraldo Editions/Random House)
Negroland, by Margo Jefferson (Granta/Vintage)
The Return, by Hisham Matar (Viking/Random House)
East West Street, by Philippe Sands (Weidenfeld & Nicolson/Knopf)