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Updated: 2 hours 46 min ago

PBS's The Great American Read

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 10:14
The Great American Read, an eight-part series hosted by TV personality and journalist Meredith Vieira, will introduce viewers to PBS's list of the country's 100 favorite novels, created in partnership with the polling service YouGov. After the initial two-hour episode on Tuesday, May 22--featuring celebrities, authors, "superfans" and "everyday Americans"--the multi-platform initiative will begin: throughout the summer, people can vote for their favorite novels on the PBS website and by using special voting hashtags on Twitter and Facebook

Andrew Sean Greer's "Less" is surprise winner of Pulitzer for fiction.

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 12:48
Andrew Sean Greer's novel Less and James Forman Jr.'s book Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America are among the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners, each of whom receives $15,000.

Pulitzer-watchers see Less as a surprise win given that it was not prominent on other award nomination and "best of year" lists.

Three judges resign from Nobel literature committee

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 15:34
Three judges for the Nobel literature prize have resigned. Klas Ostergren, Kjell Espmark and Peter Englund released statements or letters Friday to Swedish media but gave few details. Englund wrote in a letter to the tabloid Aftonbladet that his decision was linked to the Swedish academy's decision late last year to cut ties with the head of a Stockholm cultural center who was accused of sexual misconduct. The academy asked a law firm to investigate what influence the man, whom it did not name, had on the academy.

Sale of Waterstones to hedge fund likely to complete by end of April

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 13:55
UK bookstore chain Waterstones will be sold to hedge fund Elliott Advisors "likely" by the end of April, the end of the U.K. bookstore chain's fiscal year, according to the Bookseller, which cited "a source with knowledge of the situation." Neither Waterstones nor Elliott Advisors has commented on the report.

Elliott Advisors is the U.K. arm of Elliott Management Corp., the investment management firm headed by Paul Singer, known for an interest in companies with heavy debt, for his financial support of the Republican Party and for his support of LGBTQ rights. Elliott Advisors is run by Singer's son Gordon Singer.

Amazon Study Reveals Explosive Growth of Third-Party Sales, Sales Tax Avoidance

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 10:40
A new report from the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and Civic Economics reveals the continuing — and increasing — loss of jobs and essential state and municipal revenue as a result of the growing retail dominance of Amazon.com. The report documents both Amazon's sales and, for the first time, the explosive growth of sales through its third-party Marketplace from 2014 to 2016. And the report makes clear that Amazon's sales tax avoidance strategy has continued despite well-publicized agreements with American states.

Joan Silber's 'Improvement' wins PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 10:48
Joan Silber has won the PEN/Faulkner Award for her novel Improvement (which won the NBCC Award last month.)

All five finalists (Silber, Hernán Díaz, Samantha Hunt, Achy Obejas and Jesmyn Ward) will read from their work at the ceremony on May 5 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington. Silber will receive $15,000 and other the finalists will each receive $5,000.

Canadian Independent Bookstore Day

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 11:56
When U.S. booksellers celebrate Independent Bookstore Day on April 28, their neighbors to the north will be taking part in Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, a "new look" version of Authors for Indies Day, which was launched in 2015 and had announced last fall that significant changes were in the works. Beginning this year, the Retail Council of Canada has adopted the project and renamed it Canadian Independent Bookstore Day.

Sing, Unburied, Sing wins Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

Fri, 03/30/2018 - 11:52
The winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards for "literature that confronts racism and examines diversity" are:
Fiction: Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
Nonfiction: Bunk, by Kevin Young
Poetry: In the Language of My Captor, by Shane McCrae
Lifetime Achievement: N. Scott Momaday

Anita Shreve, best-selling author of 'The Pilot?s Wife,' dies at 71

Fri, 03/30/2018 - 11:45
Anita Shreve, 71, author of 20 books included The Pilot's Wife and The Weight of Water, died of cancer Thursday at home in southern New Hampshire. She had announced her illness almost a year ago,writing on Facebook: "This is a hard post to write. I have so been looking forward to going on book tour for my new novel, The Stars are Fire, and had hoped to meet many of you on my travels."

Jacqueline Woodson wins $600,000 Astrid Lindgren prize

Tue, 03/27/2018 - 14:06
Jacqueline Woodson, author of 30 books including the National Book Prize winner Brown Girl Dreaming (a memoir of her childhood written in verse) has won The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world's largest prize for children's writing. She will receive five million Swedish krona ($600,000) at a ceremony on 28 May in Stockholm.

Tracy K. Smith Gets Second Term as U.S. Poet Laureate

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 10:43
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has appointed Tracy K. Smith to serve a second term as the nation's 22nd poet laureate. During her second year, Smith plans to expand her outreach efforts to rural communities and unveil a new anthology to be published in the fall.

Philip Kerr, author of the Bernie Gunther crime novels and many other works, dies aged 62

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 05:00
Philip Kerr, 62, author of the Bernie Gunther crime novels and many other works of fiction for adults and children, died Friday of cancer. Putnam will publish his newest series novel, Greeks Bearing Gifts, on April 3, and Kerr had finished a draft of the next Gunther novel, Metropolis, slated for publication next year.

Lawyer representing Harper Lee's estate sues screenwriter tasked with adapting "To Kill a Mockingbird" for the stage.

Sun, 03/25/2018 - 21:55
Harper Lee was a literary celebrity. Aaron Sorkin is a screenwriting superstar. And now the two - by proxy - are locked in a battle over who should shape the content in Mr. Sorkin's stage adaptation of Ms. Lee's famous novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Ms. Lee, before she died, agreed to allow Mr. Sorkin to write the adaptation. But there was one key condition: His play could not "derogate or depart in any manner from the spirit of the novel, nor alter its characters."

And therein lies the problem. Ms. Lee is now dead, so it's impossible to know what she would make of Mr. Sorkin's script. But her longtime lawyer has read a draft, and is unhappy...

John Oliver's children's book about Mike Pence's bunny sells out

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 17:29
John Oliver's parody book about Vice President Mike Pence's family pet has sold out. The "Last Week Tonight" host appeared on "Ellen" on Tuesday to talk about his new children's book, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo." The book, which Oliver is using to troll Pence, coincides with the Pence family's release of their own children's book about the family pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo.

Who should lead American Library Association?

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 05:00
The American Library Association is facing significant financial challenges. The Trump administration wants to gut federal support for libraries. And librarians are fighting over whether its next executive director should be required to have a MLS degree...

Joan Silber and Caroline Fraser among winners of 2017 National Book Critics Circle Awards #awards

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 20:45
The National Book Critics Circle announced the winners of its 2017 awards tonight:

Poetry: Layli Long Soldier, Whereas (Graywolf)

Criticism: Carina Chocano, You Play The Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Trainwrecks, & Other Mixed Messages (Mariner)

Autobiography: Xiaolu Guo, Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China (Grove)

Biography: Caroline Fraser, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Metropolitan Books)

Nonfiction: Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (Simon & Schuster)

Fiction: Joan Silber, Improvement (Counterpoint)

The John Leonard Prize: Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf)

The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing: Charles Finch

The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award: John McPhee

Nearly one-in-five Americans now listen to audiobooks

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 11:27
About three-quarters (74%) of Americans have read a book in the past 12 months in any format, a figure that has remained largely unchanged since 2012, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January. Print books remain the most popular format for reading, with 67% of Americans having read a print book in the past year.

And while shares of print and e-book readers are similar to those from a survey conducted in 2016, there has been a modest but statistically significant increase in the share of Americans who read audiobooks, from 14% to 18%.

Overall, Americans read an average (mean) of 12 books per year, while the typical (median) American has read four books in the past 12 months. Each of these figures is largely unchanged since 2011, when the Center first began conducting the surveys of Americans' book reading habits.

Netflix to stream the Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 05:00
Netflix will begin streaming the movie adaptation of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society in North America, Latin America, Italy, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia on April 20. Studiocanal will release the film in the U.K. on the same day, followed by Australia, New Zealand, France and Germany.

Sherman Alexie decides not to accept the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 11:17
Accused by at least 10 women of sexual harassment, author Sherman Alexie has decided not to accept the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction that he won for You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir (Little, Brown). His publisher has also delayed the release of the paperback edition.

They NY Times publishes overdue obituaries of women they overlooked including Bronte and Plath

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 07:25
Introducing what will be an ongoing project, The New York Times writes, "Since 1851, obituaries in the New York Times have been dominated by white men. Now we're adding the stories of 15 remarkable women."

The obituaries published today include Sylvia Plath, Charlotte Bronte and Qui Jin (a feminist poet and revolutionary who became a martyr known as China's 'Joan of Arc.')

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