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Updated: 1 hour 34 min ago

7th member of Nobel Literature awarding body steps down, awarding of prize may be delayed

Sat, 04/28/2018 - 05:00
The Swedish Academy says a seventh board member has decided to step down amid a crisis at the prestigious institution that awards the Nobel Prize in literature. The secretive 18-member body has been roiled by an internal feud triggered by a sex-abuse scandal linked to the husband of one of its female members. That member and five others, including the body's first-ever female leader, stepped down earlier. The Swedish Academy's permanent secretary told Swedish media earlier this week that it may have to postpone handing out this year's Nobel literature prize due to the crisis.

How the author of ?Madeline? created his most famous character

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 05:00
April 27 would have been the 120th birthday of Ludwig Bemelmans, creator of the Madeline books. While his character's story is charted in 12 books and continues to delight a generation of children (and their parents), his personal history is less well known...

Waterstones sale to investment firm confirmed

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 13:11
As expected in earlier reporting, U.S. investment firm Elliott Advisors has agreed to buy U.K. bookstore chain Waterstones, which operates 283 bookstores in the U.K, with a handful of branches in Ireland, Holland and Belgium. James Daunt, who is credited with having returned the chain to profitability after he joined the company in 2011, will remain as CEO.

Good news for George R. R. Martin fans--new book coming Nov 20. Bad news--it's a prequel, not a sequel #books #GRRM

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 05:00
Good news for George R.R. Martin fans—he has a new book on the way. Bad news for George R.R. Martin fans—it's not his long-awaited fifth sequel to A Game of Thrones.

Fire and Blood will publish on November 20. It is set 300 years before the events of Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. The first of two planned volumes, the publisher says it is intended as "the definitive history of the Targaryens in Westeros and chronicles the conquest that united the Seven Kingdoms under Targaryen rule through the Dance of the Dragons: the Targaryen civil war that nearly ended their dynasty forever." Martin's writing will be accompanied by 75 all-new black and white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley.

E-book sales fell 10% in 2017

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 11:11
Unit sales of traditionally published e-books fell 10% in 2017, compared to 2016, according to figures released by PubTrack Digital.

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

What will you be reading next year? A roundup of the London book fair

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 05:00
A new JRR Tolkien, four Naomi Alderman books and the memoirs of a mole-catcher – a collection of the biggest and most interesting books due to be published in 2019 and 2020...

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 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.