Bookbrowse News About Books, Authors, and Book-Related Topics

News Feed of the ten most recent book-related news stories from Bookbrowse.
  1. Daniel T. Willingham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia, compares audio books to print books and concludes that each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior:

    ... listening to a book club selection is not cheating. It’s not even cheating to listen while you’re at your child’s soccer game (at least not as far as the book is concerned). You’ll just get different things out of the experience. And different books invite different ways that you want to read them: As the audio format grows more popular, authors are writing more works specifically meant to be heard.

    Our richest experiences will come not from treating print and audio interchangeably, but from understanding the differences between them and figuring out how to use them to our advantage — all in the service of hearing what writers are actually trying to tell us.
  2. The UK publishing trade magazine, The Bookseller reports on authors' concerns about the effects of Brexit on the UK publishing industry:

    Novelist Joanna Trollope has warned that Theresa May's government will "fatally undermine the whole UK publishing industry" if it fails to protect in law the UK position on exhaustion rights ahead of a major Brexit vote next week.

    Trollope joined fellow authors Linda Grant and Joanne Harris to urge the government to ensure the UK's reputation as a world leader in culture and creativity is preserved after Brexit.

    The authors were speaking out in support of calls from the Society of Authors (SoA), published in a new briefing, that politicians must protect free movement, copyright and trade while warning the sector is "not to be used as a bargaining chip in future negotiations"...
  3. The Strand Bookstore in New York City is asking its many customers to attend a public hearing on Tuesday morning morning to help the store "make a case against landmark status" for its store at 826-828 Broadway. The bookstore is concerned that, if the building is given landmark status, "for every repair and every upgrade, the Strand would have to go through the slow bureaucracy of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which adds to the expenses to keep the Strand alive.... The Strand currently runs on thin margins as a bookseller and retailer in New York City, fighting to survive in the era of Amazon. We have over 230 employees--most whom are unionized--and unlike large online retailers (like Amazon), have never asked or received tax breaks or other economic assistance to insure business profitability."

    Ironically, it seems that the move to give the building landmark status is in response to the many new tech hubs that are being built in the area. And so, "in a trade-off, the Strand and a few other buildings along Broadway are now being calendared for landmarking."
  4. The Literary Review has announced an all-male shortlist for that least-coveted of literary prizes, the Bad sex in fiction award.

    Haruki Murakami, often named as a contender for the Nobel prize, makes the cut for passages from his latest novel Killing Commendatore... The controversial US novelist James Frey was selected for a scene in his novel Katerina described by judges as "almost like wish fulfilment"... continued
  5. In the wake of increasing controversy over the naming of bestselling mystery author Linda Fairstein as one of next year's Grand Master Edgar recipients, Mystery Writers of America has withdrawn the award. Tuesday's announcement had sparked numerous protests on social media and prompted MWA to respond by saying it took the objections seriously and would reexamine the decision. The focus of the protests is Fairstein's role as a member of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in 1989's Central Park Jogger case, which resulted in the wrongful imprisonment for years of five minority teenagers.
  6. The New York Times has an extensive and moving interview with Anna Burns, who won this year's Man Booker Prize for her novel, Milkman which will be published in the USA on December 4:

    Burns is one of the more surprising recent winners of the Booker, one of literature’s biggest awards. Milkman was this year’s outsider, up against Richard Powers' ecological epic The Overstory and Esi Edugyan’s heralded slavery-era Washington Black, among others. It was also labeled an "experimental novel" because its characters are nameless and its paragraphs sometimes run for several pages. Her victory provoked think pieces about the "bold choice."

    "I don’t understand," said Burns, when asked why it had picked up such an awkward label. "Is it the whole nameless thing? Is it really difficult? The book just didn’t want names." (The tag does not seem to have put many off buying it. Faber, her British publisher, has sold over 350,000 copies so far...
  7. Netflix will create an original animated series of Roald Dahl stories including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and The Twits.

    "ald Dahl stories have long inspired award-winning feature films and stage productions," Netflix said in its announcement. "But now, for the first time, Netflix will bring together the highest quality creative, visual, and writing teams to extend the stories in this first-of-its-kind slate of premium animated event series and specials for audiences of all ages and for families to enjoy together."
  8. Following two years in which Margaret Atwood's classic dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale saw a skyrocketing in readership and new cultural relevance, both on television and in society at large, the author has announced a sequel.

    The Testaments, set 15 years after the final scene of The Handmaid's Tale, will be published on September 10, 2019, by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, with an announced first printing of 500,000 copies.
  9. Over the last few years, Ms. Powell Jobs, an activist, investor and entrepreneur, has been investing in media companies through her social impact firm, Emerson Collective. Buying up a range of unusual properties, she seems to be making an effort to turbocharge storytelling in this fractured digital age.

    It's an interesting experiment to watch, because the investments include a panoply of the cool, hip and fresh in a mostly glum content industry. On Tuesday, Emerson is announcing that it has bought Pop-Up Magazine Productions, which runs innovative and decidedly quirky "live magazine" events across the country and publishes The California Sunday Magazine. The magazine appears in print and online, and has made an award-winning splash in its short tenure. Ms. Powell Jobs's firm last year quietly invested at least $10 million in Pop-Up, based in San Francisco, and is now taking full control of all of it...
  10. The shortlists for the 2018 Costa Awards have been released. The five category winners will be announced on January 7 and the overall winner on January 29. The awards honor "some of the most outstanding books of the year written by authors based in the U.K. and Ireland."

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