Weekly Book News Roundup

Book News

  • After 4 days of interesting and passionate debates, Kim Thùy’s novel Ru was crowned the winner of Canada Reads 2015. The novel was championed by Cameron Bailey, Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. Bailey was eloquent and thoughtful all week, and was a wonderful advocate for Thúy’s novel.
  • A new Little Women adaptation is being written by Sarah Polley, the Canadian actor and director known for Oscar-nominated drama Away From Her, and the acclaimed Stories We Tell. So far, Sony has lined up an all-female production team for the project. In addition to Polley, the studio has brought on Denise Di Novi, Robin Swicord, and former Sony executive Amy Pascal to produce the film. No director has signed on yet, although it’s possible Polley could join in that capacity after the script is finished as she usually directs her own projects.
  • Writer Andrew Shaffer’s popular parody Twitter account of bestselling author Jonathan Franzen—@EmperorFranzen—has been suspended. Shaffer said that “Emperor Franzen,” which he’s been running for five years, became more than just a parody of Jonathan Franzen, but of high-minded fiction writers in general. Luckily, a similar parody account has yet to be suspended: @GuyInYourMFA.
  • Roberto Bolaño’s 900-page novel 2666 is getting a theatrical adaptation, thanks to Powerball Lottery winner Roy Cockrum, who used his jackpot winnings to back the project and support the theater arts. The Goodman Theater in Chicago will produce the five-hour adaptation for its 2015-2016 season.
  • Arthur Conan Doyle was the victim of a police conspiracy. “Newly discovered documents show that the Staffordshire police fabricated evidence to try to discredit Arthur Conan Doyle’s investigation into the curious case of George Edalji, a Birmingham solicitor accused of maiming horses and sending poison-pen letters at the turn of the twentieth century.
  • George R.R. Martin raised the hopes of Game of Thrones fans this week, when he hinted his long-awaited new novel The Winds of Winter would be completed this year.

And, of course, I have questions for you based on this week’s news:

  1. I would love to hear about novels you adore that flew under the radar and didn’t get the attention you felt they deserved. Which books fell into this category for you?
  2. Have you read George R.R. Martin’s series yet? Do you think he will finish the latest novel this year?
  3. Did you follow along the debates for Canada Reads this year? How did you find the 2015 edition of the program?
bookstore

Bookstore © xkcd

Happy reading!!

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