Weekly Book News Roundup

Book News

  • Kobo has launched the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, to celebrate Canadian debut authors. The annual award offers three categories of competition: Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction (beginning with Mystery, with a different genre showcased each year), and Non-Fiction. Prizewinners will each receive $10,000, and promotional, marketing, and communications support, as well as access to Kobo experts for publishing advice. Three outstanding judges (who will also provide mentorship to the three winners) will help launch the inaugural awards: Miriam Toews will serve as the judge of the literary fiction category, Charlotte Gray will judge non-fiction, and Ian Hamilton will judge genre fiction.
  • Jennifer Lopez’s (apparently) terrible new movie The Boy Next Door has inspired a misguided quest for first editions of the Iliad. “Lopez plays a divorced English literature high school teacher who has a one-night stand with her younger neighbour played by Ryan Guzman. In one scene, Guzman’s character gives Lopez a copy of The Iliad, which is described as a ‘first edition’ and apparently found for ‘a buck at a garage sale.’ ” Problems: no one knows for certain when the Iliad was even written. It was passed down by oral tradition first. It’s at least three thousand years old. It wasn’t composed in English for first publication in a handsome hardcover.
  • The 2015 #TwitterFiction Festival will take place May 11-15. The festival is presented by the Association of American Publishers and Penguin Random House, and is about “embracing, exploring, and developing the art of storytelling on Twitter.” This year, featured participating authors include Margaret Atwood, Celeste Ng, Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket), and Eric Jerome Dickey, among others.
  • The Economist featured a piece on the new era of “authorpreneurship,” in which no one can simply write: “Authors are becoming more like pop stars, who used to make most of their money selling albums but who now use their recordings as promotional tools, earning a living mainly from concerts. The trouble with many budding writers is that they are not cut out for this new world. They are often introverts, preferring solitude to salesmanship.” 

So, there are some of the bigger stories that made news in the book world this week.  I hope your week has been a good one, and that you have had some time to read.  If you are reading something great, I would love to know about it, so please leave a comment. (I could truly chat about books forever. Heh!)

Baldo by Hector D. Cantu and Carlos Castellanos

Baldo, by Hector D. Cantu and Carlos Castellanos

6 thoughts on “Weekly Book News Roundup

  1. Prizes for emerging writers are always good. And, wouldn’t it be cool to find an old story in the attic? Anyone’s old story would do.
    I just finished reading When the Saints by Sarah Mian, and I definitely recommend it (if you don’t mind a filthy mouth!).

    • They are — I really like the way Kobo is positioning this new award. The judges are great, and I think a mentorship session with each of the author-judges would be terrific. Plus, you know, $10K!

      Ha! Right? I would love to find something cool and of value in my attic. 🙂

      I don’t mind a filthy mouth when I read – I have added your recommendation to Mt. TBR on my Goodreads list. Heh.

    • Isn’t there, though (so much interesting news)? I love Hornby so much, and I am kind of excited that he’s doing so well adapting books to film, even ones that aren’t his own. I was wondering, earlier today, how he feels about it? Though I guess he must enjoy it since he keeps accepting projects! He certainly brings the novelist’s perspective to projects but I was curious if that makes it harder or easier? It must vary by project. And I bet he has a huge desire to do well by the author. I mean… COLM TOÍBÍN!! I would want to keep him happy. Heh. 🙂

  2. Great round-up! Saw the Arthur Conan Doyle story as it’s been in a lot of Scottish papers, unsurprisingly. Rather sweetly, apparently it’s going to stay in Selkirk. Now, I’m away up the attic to see if I can find a first edition of the Iliad. Or maybe some of his early drafts. I’m sure Homer lived in this building once…And right now, I’m reading The Abrupt Physics Of Dying by Paul E Hardisty, and Caro Ramsay’s The Night Hunter.

    • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all had terrific treasures in our attics? Let me know if you’ve got that Iliad everyone’s looking for! Haha!! Thanks for visiting, and your comment. It’s great to hear about what people are reading. I am currently reading The Black Count, by Tom Reiss. It’s a pretty interesting biography about General Alex Dumas, father of novelist Alexandre Dumas. But there’s also a bit of history here as well, covering the rights of blacks in France, slavery, the French Revolution and Napoleon.

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