- On March 12th, celebrated author Terry Pratchett, best known for his Discworld series of novels, died at age sixty-six. Pratchett had suffered from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. “The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds,” said Transworld Publishers’ Larry Finlay.
- Award News:
- The Bailey’s Women’s Prize for fiction announced their longlist of 20 books.
- The 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction revealed their shortlist of five novels.
- The National Book Critics Circle Awards were handed out last night.
- Emily St. John Mandel, whose dystopian novel Station Eleven has been longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and shortlisted for the Pen/Faulkner Award. Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin has now endorsed Station Eleven, for the 2014 Hugo Award.
- In today’s digital age, writers are frequently told that promoting their work on Twitter is not just an option, but a necessity. New York Magazine talks to twelve writers, editors, and journalists about the challenges and complexities of self-promotion.
- Still in our digital world for a moment: “If there is an individual alive in 2015 with the genius and vision of James Joyce, they’re probably working for Google, and if there isn’t, it doesn’t matter since the operations of that genius and vision are being developed and performed collectively by operators on the payroll of that company, or of one like it.” At the Guardian, Tom McCarthy examines the current state of fiction writing in the age of digital saturation.
- If owning and operating a New England Inn is your dream, enter an essay contest and you could win the Center Lovell Inn in southwest Maine. Current owner Janice Sage, who won the Inn in an essay contest twenty-two years ago, will judge essay submissions on the subject, “Why I would like to own and operate a country Inn.” A $125 entry fee is required.
- A new novel from bestselling author Margaret Atwood is set for publication in September. The Heart Goes Last is Atwood’s first stand-alone novel since The Blind Assassin, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2000.
- Was 1925 really “the greatest year in the history of literature”? The BBC has declared it so. They searched “for a cluster of landmark books” and then asked if said books “continue to enthrall readers and explore our human dilemmas and joys in memorable ways.” 1925, which featured works from Woolf, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Dos Passos and Dreiser, came away the winner.
So… there are some of the bigger stories that made the news in the book world this past week. And, of course, it makes me wonder some things:
- Do you follow book awards? Do they influence your reading in any way? If so, do you have a favourite book award?
- How do you feel about authors and self-promotion? Is this something you encounter frequently?
- I was reminded of this hilarious (to me) xkcd comic today (shared below). Can you be a bit of a book snob? Also: have you always wanted a secret bookshelf? 🙂