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Updated: 2 hours 40 min ago

Jin Yong, literary giant of the Chinese-speaking world dies aged 94

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 13:00
Jin Yong, a literary giant of the Chinese-speaking world whose fantastical epic novels inspired countless film, television and video game adaptations and were read by generations of ethnic Chinese, died on Oct. 30 in Hong Kong. He was 94.

A Tribute to Todd H. Bol: A Little Free Library board member recalls what made the organization?s founder tick

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 11:11
... For those of us lucky enough to know Todd, it was not only the adorable, customizable structures of the libraries that made him happy but it was something far bigger: community. For Todd, Little Free Libraries were places that strengthened community ties where they existed and built ties where they were absent. And he loved how comments and challenges sparked new ideas and initiatives.

Not enough Little Free Libraries in high-needs communities? Todd created the Impact Library Grants Fund. Interested in ways to engage a community? Todd formed and encouraged the use of the Action Book Club. Looking for more positive interaction between youth and law enforcement? Todd's answer was to create the Kids, Community & Cops program. Looking to create better conversations around books? Pass out Whatcha Readin' buttons. ...

Booksellers protest Amazon affiliate AbeBooks

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 11:11
Beginning today and lasting a week, more than 300 booksellers around the world are not selling titles on AbeBooks, the Amazon subsidiary that specializes in collectible and used books, to protest AbeBooks' decision to ban booksellers from several nations, including South Korea, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Russia. The action is called Banned Booksellers Week and was begun, the New York Times said, by British bookseller Simon Beattie.

Hundreds form human chain to move thousands of books for a local bookstore

Sun, 11/04/2018 - 04:00
The plea went out a few weeks ago from October Books in the port city of Southampton, England: "Care to lend a hand?"

Volunteers were needed to help the store move to a new location about 500 feet down the road--a move made possible by a fundraising campaign that allowed the beloved local store to buy its new location for over half a million pounds (about $650,000) thus protecting it from future rent increases--which had forced it out of its former building.

This past Sunday, a human chain began forming from the old October Books stockroom, snaking past 54 doors to the new building. Hand-to-hand, the chain of people passed thousands of books over a few hours.

"It was very moving," Ms. Haynes said, adding that the employees were "all getting choked up" about how members of the community had leapt to help out.

B&N filing: Ex-CEO Parneros was harasser, bully, saboteur

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 05:00
In a court filing in response to the August suit by former CEO Demos Parneros, who was suddenly fired without severance in July, Barnes & Noble alleges that Parneros was justifiably fired because he sexually harassed a female employee, bullied some executives and undermined a potential sale of the company

'Well-Read Black Girl' - Instagram, book club, and now book

Fri, 10/26/2018 - 05:00
What started as Glory Edim's Instagram account has grown to a book club, a festival and now, a book, "Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves."

Well-Read Black Girl started as an online community in 2015, when Edim launched an Instagram account where she posted writers' quotes and shared the books she was reading. At the time, she was working at Kickstarter as a strategist but was privately thinking of ways to channel her love of books into a career. She was inspired by a gift from her longtime boyfriend: a T-shirt emblazoned with a custom crest that included the names of some of her favorite writers — Gloria Naylor, Maya Angelou, Octavia Butler — and, in academic font, his endearing name for her: Well-Read Black Girl...

Edim brings this sensibility to her book club by centering on black woman writers and often coaxing members to ask questions and join the conversation. "I want to hear them fully, and I want to help them feel listened to and seen," she said. "I am thinking solely about us, and everything else is secondary."

To Kill a Mockingbird wins PBS's Great American Read

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 17:00
To Kill a Mockingbird has been voted by viewers of PBS's Great American Read as America's #1 best-loved novel.

The show aired its final episode on Monday evening. Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series came in at #2, to the spot, followed by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

See the full list at PBS...

Evelyn Anthony, author of more than 50 novels, dies aged 92

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 11:25
Evelyn Anthony, who wrote more than 50 novels, including The Tamarind Seed, which was turned into a hit film in 1974, has died aged 92:

She was an unlikely pioneering feminist. The daughter of a wealthy naval hero who married a director of an international mining company and became lady of the manor in a hall that had housed Elizabeth I, she was fully involved in country life.

But she challenged stereotypes by becoming the main breadwinner of her family and, in 1994, the first female High Sheriff of Essex in 700 years.

Her career began after the second world war with short stories syndicated to women's magazines. Born Evelyn Stephens, later becoming Evelyn Ward-Thomas through marriage, she chose Evelyn Anthony as her pseudonym as, a devout Catholic throughout her life, Anthony was the patron saint of lost things – "I can't live without him," she said – and her first name was gender neutral...

How Neil Gaiman's Sandman universe is expanding

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 05:00
The groundbreaking comics author has bequeathed his fantasy universe to a new generation of writers, who reveal their changes to his unconscious world...

When Neil Gaiman announced in March that he would be returning to the world of Sandman, the comic that made his name back in the 1980s, fans were delighted. But the writers he chose to develop four new strands to the story of Morpheus – Simon Spurrier, Nalo Hopkinson, Dan Watters and Kat Howard – admit they were a little apprehensive...

Todd Bol, founder of the Little Free Library dies aged 62

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 13:07
Todd Bol, founder and executive director of the Little Free Library who "spent much of the last decade working towards his vision of a world where neighbors know each other by name, and everyone has access to books," died October 18. He was 62. LFL noted that he "was heartened by the network of more than 75,000 Little Free Library stewards around the world dedicated to literacy and community." LFLs now exist in 88 countries.

In 2009, Bol "hammered together the first Little Free Library. Then he built a movement around it," the Star Tribune wrote, adding that he "believed the now-ubiquitous little boxes of books--and the neighbors who cared for them--could change a block, a city, the world. So he brought them to front yards all over, often installing them himself."

Eleven San Francisco bookstores get cash assistance from city

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 13:17
Nearly a dozen San Francisco bookstores received a special gift from the city this week — $103,000 in total grant money to help them through a time when books can be delivered to one's door at the click of a mouse.

And that's exactly why the funding is so important, says Joaquin Torres, the director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. "There's nothing online that can recreate the experience of walking into a bookstore — the art you see on the walls, the performances that take place, the cultural conversations," he said...

The money is part of the Bookstore SF Program, a pet project of the late Mayor Ed Lee, aimed at funding bookstore "revitalizations" that emphasize their roles as social hubs rather than simply places to purchase reading material...

Random House and Crown Publishing Groups Merge

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 13:05
The Crown Publishing Group has joined the Random House Publishing Group in a newly-combined division reporting to current Random House president and publisher Gina Centrello, who has been named president and publisher of the new supergroup, Penguin Random House US CEO Madeline McIntosh wrote today in a letter to staff. As a result of the merger, Maya Mavjee, president and publisher of Crown, will leave the company at the end of the year. The imprints will retain their distinct editorial identities, McIntosh continued in the memo, and the change is effective immediately.

At least for the moment, the two groups will retain their existing names: the Crown Publishing Group and the Random House Publishing Group. The change has no impact on PRH's other adult publishing groups, the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and the Penguin Publishing Group, or its two children's divisions.

Milkman,? by Anna Burns, wins 2018 Man Booker Prize

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 05:00
Anna Burns won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for her third novel, Milkman. Burns, 56, is the first writer from Northern Ireland to win the Booker. She accepted the prize tonight at a lavish ceremony in London.

Burns's dark, experimental novel is about a bookish 18-year-old girl caught up in the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Originally set to be published in the United States next fall, Graywolf Press announced tonight that Milkman will be released on Dec. 11.

Alternative Nobel Prize awarded to Guadeloupean author Maryse Condé

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 05:00
The New Academy Prize in Literature 2018 has been awarded to Guadeloupean author Maryse Condé. She is the author of about 20 novels, including I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem; Tales from the Heart: True Stories from My Childhood; Windward Heights; Victoire: My Mother's Mother; and Who Slashed Celanire's Throat?

The New Academy Prize in Literature was created earlier this year by more than 100 Swedish writers, actors, journalists and other cultural figures in response to the Swedish Academy's decision not to award a 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature in the wake of a highly-publicized scandal. The New Academy will be dissolved in December.

Cyber criminals attempt to steal manuscripts from major publishers

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 06:52
A spate of global phishing scams attempting to access agencies' and publishers' manuscripts and other sensitive information prompted Penguin Random House North America to issue an urgent warning to all staff.

The PRH email was circulated with the subject line "Important: New Phishing Alert" and reads: "We have recently seen an increase in attempts to steal our manuscripts. This has occurred in multiple locations across the globe. The individuals attempting to access these manuscripts have a sophisticated understanding of our business. We need to protect ourselves from these threats."

The Bookseller understands PRH UK has been similarly targeted, with fraudsters posing as literary agents and foreign-rights staff from seemingly legitimate email addresses. Other houses have also been affected. Pan Macmillan revealed it had also been targeted by scammers trying to access manuscripts, and has issued an internal briefing to staff. The head of another global publisher said that while there have long been scams targeting confidential information such as contracts, seeking manuscripts is a new development.

Great American Read Top 10 announced

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 05:00
The deadline is approaching to cast votes for the USA's best-loved novel. To date, more than 3.8 million votes have been cast.

Organizers of The Great American Read have released a Top 10 list of the leading candidates. The winning book will be revealed in the "Grand Finale" episode on October 23 on PBS stations nationwide.

Viewers can vote for their favorite titles each day through October 18 via Facebook, Twitter, text and phone. Click the link below for full details.

The Top Ten are:
• Charlotte's Web
• Chronicles of Narnia series
• Gone with the Wind
• Harry Potter series
• Jane Eyre
• Little Women
• Lord of the Rings series
• Outlander series
• Pride and Prejudice
• To Kill a Mockingbird

The number of self-published titles topped 1 million in 2017

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 05:00
The number of self-published books topped the 1 million mark for the first time in 2017, according to Bowker's annual report on the number of ISBNs that were issued to self-published authors. The total number of ISBNs issued last year rose 28% over 2016, to 1,009,188.

The gain was due entirely to the increase in the number of print ISBNs issued by Bowker last year. The number of ISBNs issued for e-books released by self-published authors fell 13% from 2016, to 129,601.

While Bowker noted that the 2017 decline is the third consecutive year the number of ISBNs issued for e-books fell, the drop is more likely due to authors moving to Amazon's KDP self-publishing platform than an overall decline in the number e-books that were self-published last year. Because KDP uses Amazon's own ASIN identifiers rather than the industry standard ISBNs, KDP's titles do not appear in the Bowker data. Amazon does not disclose the number of KDP titles that it releases annually.

The 2018 National Book Award finalists are in, including a new category for translated literatures

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 12:04
The finalists for the National Book Award are in, and this year, there's more of them than ever before.

For 2018, the National Book Foundation has added a new category for translated literature, in what seems to be an attempt to push back against the idea that Americans don't read books from other countries. It doesn't spotlight only unfamiliar names, though: The finalists in this category include Trick, translated by Namesake author Jhumpa Lahiri, who has written extensively about her decision to begin reading and writing in Italian after years of being celebrated for her beautiful English sentences.

Need a handbag or a tie to land your first job? Borrow one with a library card

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 05:00
Handbags, briefcases and ties can be checked out for up to three weeks at a time at the Riverside branch of the New York Public Library, as part of a pilot program dreamed up by Michelle Lee, a young adult librarian...

John Hopkins name new research building after Henrietta Lacks

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 05:00
Johns Hopkins University just announced that the school will name a new research building after Henrietta Lacks, the "mother of modern medicine" whose cancer cells revolutionized medical research--and whose story came to the public's attention through Rebecca Skloot's 2010 nonfiction work, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

"Through her life and her immortal cells, Henrietta Lacks made an immeasurable impact on science and medicine that has touched countless lives around the world," Johns Hopkins President Ronald Daniels said during the university's 9th annual Henrietta Lacks Memorial Lecture on Saturday.

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