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Bob Dylan will receive Nobel prize this weekend but when will he give his lecture?

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 19:24
After months of suspense and typically inscrutable standoffishness, Bob Dylan, the elusive Nobel laureate, will finally accept his literature prize at a meeting with members of the Swedish Academy in Stockholm this weekend. Yet uncertainty remains as to how, or even when, Dylan will deliver the lecture on his subject that is required within six months of the prize ceremony (which was last December).

Henrietta Lacks' family feuds as movie release date draws near

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 05:00
Just weeks before the April 22 first broadcast of Oprah Winfrey's movie for HBO based on Rebecca Skloot's book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the Washington Post reports on the feud that has broken out between members of the Lacks family.

AP style for first time allows use of they as singular pronoun #grammar

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 03:36
The Associated Press Stylebook says it is "opening the door" to use of the singular they. A new stylebook entry, which was announced last week as part of the AP's session at the 21st national conference of ACES: The Society for Editing in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the first time allows use of they as a singular pronoun or gender-neutral pronoun.

Chet Cunningham, author of more than 450 books, dies aged 88

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 13:44
Prolific writer Chet Cunningham, author of more than 450 books including Westerns, thrillers, military history, medical guides, died March 14 aged 88. Cunningham "credited his output to his daily deadline training as a journalist and to a work ethic that usually had him in his home office for 10 hours a day."

New Bill Would Let Trump Pick the Next Register of Copyrights #books #copyright

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 11:01
With a search for the next Register of Copyrights currently underway, a bill introduced in Congress yesterday would let Donald Trump make that appointment, rather than Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

Currently, the Register of Copyrights is appointed by and serves at the sole discretion of the Librarian of Congress, who oversees the Copyright Office.

The bill was introduced with 29 bipartisan cosponsors and is supported by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Senate Judiciary Committee Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).

Colin Dexter, creator of the Inspector Morse novels, died Tuesday

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 05:00
The crime writer Colin Dexter, creator of the much-loved character Inspector Morse, has died at the age of 86.

A statement from his publisher, Macmillan, said: "With immense sadness, Macmillan announces the death of Colin Dexter, who died peacefully at home in Oxford this morning."

Oxford comma dispute that could cost millions!

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 05:00
The New York Times reports on a class-action lawsuit about overtime pay for truck drivers that hinges on perhaps the most polarizing punctuation mark - the Oxford comma.

National Book Critics Circle Awards

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 05:00
The winners of the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Awards were announced last night:

Fiction: LaRose by Louise Erdrich
Nonfiction: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Poetry: House of Lords and Commons by Ishion Hutchinson
Biography: Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin
Autobiography: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
Criticism: White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson

Read so you know the world

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 05:00
Libyan author Hisham Matar offers an inspiring ode to the power of books in The New York Times:

"Whenever I was encouraged by my elders to pick up a book, I was often told, 'Read so as to know the world.' And it is true; books have invited me into different countries, states of mind, social conditions and historical epochs; they have offered me a place at the most unusual gatherings....

How many times, and in ways that did not seem to require my consent, have I suddenly and in my own bed found myself to be Russian or French or Japanese? How many times have I been a peasant or an aristocrat? How many times have I been a woman? I have been free and without liberty, gay, disabled, old, loved and loathed....

"This is why literature is the greatest argument for the universalist instinct, and this is why literature is intransigent about its liberty. It refuses to be enrolled, regardless of how noble or urgent the project. It cannot be governed or dictated to. It is by instinct interested in conflicting empathies, in men and women who are running into their own hearts, in doubt and contradictions. Which is why, without even intending to, and like a moon to the night, it disrupts the totalitarian narrative. What it reveals about our human nature is central to the conversation today."

Reading Without Walls Month to debut in April

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 05:00
Reading Without Walls Month makes its debut this April. This program, an annual celebration of reading and diversity, is inspired by the platform of the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Gene Luen Yang. The National Ambassador program is a partnership between the Children's Book Council, Every Child a Reader, and the Library of Congress.

Richard Wagamese, one of North America's leading indigenous authors dies aged 61

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 12:38
Canadian author Richard Wagamese, one of the leading indigenous writers in North America, died March 10. He was 61. Wagamese began his writing career in 1979, first as a journalist, then as a radio and television broadcaster. In 1991, he became the first indigenous writer to win a National Newspaper Award for column writing. His debut novel, Keeper 'n Me, was released in 1994 and won the Alberta Writers Guild's Best Novel Award. His other books include Medicine Walk, Dream Wheels, Indian Horse, One Native Life and One Story, One Song.

Robert James Waller, Bridges of Madison County author, dies aged 77 #books

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 11:49
Robert James Waller, whose gauzy, romantic novel "The Bridges of Madison County" became a runaway best seller on its publication in 1992 and the basis of a popular film, died on Friday at his home in Fredericksburg, Tex. He was 77.

Bertelsmann looking to raise stake in Random House to 70+ percent, after Pearson announces it may sell. #books

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 11:47
German media group Bertelsmann is looking to raise its stake in its Random House joint venture with Pearson from 53 percent to between 70 and 75 percent and will find a long-term partner if necessary for the rest, its chief executive told Der Spiegel. The news comes after Britain's Pearson (which currently owns 47 percent of Random House) said in January it may seek to sell its stake after a massive profit warning.

Did Jane Austen die of arsenic poisoning? British Library article thinks so #books

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 10:53
The British Library published an article last week suggesting that Jane Austen, who died in 1817 aged 41 in 1817, was killed by arsenic poisoning.

Previous causes of her death have thought to have been either cancer or an adrenal disorder but an article published on the British Library's website proposes arsenic as a credible cause - not due to foul play but likely from a tainted water supply or a medicinal mix-up.

The clues leading to the hypothesis include a series of increasingly strong reading glasses that were donated to the library in 1999 by a descendant of Austen, and the author's own writing in which she complained of skin discoloration ("black & white & every wrong colour"), which could also be a symptom of accumulating arsenic in the body.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal dies aged 51

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 05:00
Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a prolific children's book author, memoirist and public speaker who, dying of cancer, found an extraordinarily large readership this month with a column in The New York Times titled "You May Want to Marry My Husband," died on Monday at her home in Chicago. She was 51.

HarperCollins celebrates its 200th anniversary

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 10:22
HarperCollins is launching a global campaign to celebrate the company's 200th anniversary. Robert Thomson, CEO of parent company News Corp., says: "We're excited to celebrate this milestone anniversary and give thanks to the employees, authors, librarians, booksellers, and consumers who've been instrumental in helping HarperCollins become a part of the global literary culture over the last 200 years."

Caravan to Yale: The stolen child who became a star poet

Sun, 03/05/2017 - 18:18
Ali Cobby Eckermann, an Aboriginal poet, forcibly taken from her mother when she was a young child, is one of eight writers to win a $162,000 Windham-Campbell prize from Yale University. The committee commended her for confronting "the violent history of Australia's Stolen Generations" and her "use of nature to render the beauty of Aboriginal family bonds, as well as the pain and violence of their breaking".

Obama pens deal with Penguin Random House

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 23:05
Penguin Random House has acquired the rights for two books, to be written by former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle respectively. Terms and other details have not been disclosed.

Plenty of book-related nominations at this year's Oscars, but few winners

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 05:00
Shelf Awareness reports that five of the nine best picture nominees at this year's Academy Awards were book related and there were plentiful book related nominations in other categories. But few award winners, particularly compared with recent years.

The winners were:

Moonlight, based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney: best picture, supporting actor (Mahershala Ali), adapted screenplay (Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney)

Fences, adapted from August Wilson's play: supporting actress (Viola Davis)

Arrival, based on Ted Chiang's "Story of Your Life": sound editing

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on the book by J.K. Rowling: costume design

The Jungle Book, based on the novel by Rudyard Kipling: visual effects.

Author Frank Delaney dies aged 74

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 14:48
Irish-born author Frank Delaney, 74, died on February 21 after a stroke. His books include the novel Ireland, the nonfiction book Simple Courage, and an ongoing podcast on James Joyce's Ulysses. A new novel is forthcoming from Putnam.

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