Happy Valentines Day! I know today isn’t everyone’s favourite holiday (myself included), but you can’t deny how great curling up with a good book while devouring discounted chocolate can be, which is precisely my plan for this chilly February weekend. Let’s take a look at what has happened this week in the world of publishing.

After initially stating they would sell “the good, the bad, and the ugly” on their site, Amazon is starting to quietly remove titles promoting hate, although the guidelines they’re following remain a mystery.

Colin Kaepernick has announced he will be releasing a memoir, which is expected to give his most substantive statement on the protest that cost him his football career. He’ll be releasing the book with his new publishing house, Kaepernick Publishing, which will emphasize minority voices and grant “unprecedented ownership options” to writers.

Canadian national treasure Jann Arden will be releasing a new memoir this October! In her third book, Arden will be focusing on the importance of failing when finding success in what she calls the “opposite of a self-help book”.

The finalists for the Lionel Gelber Prize, which recognizes the best English-language book on foreign affairs, have been announced.

Toronto poet M. NourbeSe Philip has been awarded the PEN Nabokov Award for International Literature.

Toronto poet M. NourbeSe Philip awarded $66K PEN/Nabokov Award for International Literature | CBC Books

Toronto writer M. NourbeSe Philip has been announced as the 2020 recipient of the PEN/Nabokov Award for International Literature. The $50,000 U.S. ($66,445 Cdn) award honours a writer whose body of work shows “enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship.” Philip is a poet, essayist, fiction writer and playwright whose writing explores the linguistic, political and social legacies of oppression through history to present-day.

If you’re a Canadian non-fiction writer you should look into CBC’s Non-Fiction Prize which has opened for 2020!

The band The Used have released a song and music video based on John Milton’s Paradise Lost. The music video is a trip, and listening to The Used is really bringing me back to my high school teenage angst days.

Ta Nehisi Coates and his cover artist for The Water Dancer, Calida Rawles, sat down with W Magazine to discuss how that beautiful cover came to be (among other things).

Speaking of impressive book covers, Publishers Weekly published an interesting article on the importance of a compelling title when selling your book.

A fascinating study is being done on the impact translation can have on a text. Based out of Oxford, the Prismatic Jane Eyre research project is looking at 594 (!!!) translations in fifty-seven languages to learn what changes in a text, both literally and conceptually, when it is translated into a different language.

Judy Blume celebrated her 82nd birthday this week! To honour the great author of our youth, LitHub collected “an incomplete but amusing” list of Judy Blume references in modern pop culture. I think the Deadpool one is my personal favourite.

Finally, as you can imagine, the number of Valentine’s Day themed articles that the book world has released this week has been overwhelming. From What book to buy your Valentine to Love stories in 50 states, there have been a lot to read through. My favourite of the bunch however, has got to be this review of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, written by her husband before the book’s release. This is what being a supportive partner looks like, folks.

Staff Reads and Recommendations:
Laura Granger, Author Engagement Specialist

“I loved this fresh take on a YA rom-com. In a modern day Romeo and Juliet take, Jack and Pepper, high schoolers from competing family businesses face off on social media, which spirals into a viral Twitter war. Will they be able to put their rivalry behind them as their relationship deepens? All’s fair in love and cheese!”

Potential Reading Bingo Squares: A book by a debut author; A book about social media