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Not the Booker Prize, The Hugo Awards, and Meme Linguistics: This Week in Book News

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Another week has come and gone, and I hope everyone is still hanging in there as 2020 continues to 2020. We’re kicking off the roundup this week with some exciting Kobo news: Audiobooks have officially launched in Mexico! In conjunction with our partners Gandhi and Porrua, KWL authors now have the opportunity to sell their audiobooks in another territory!

Now let’s see what’s been happening in the rest of the publishing world this week.


While many industries are struggling in this strange, new, Covid world, according to The Hot Sheet, the book industry is actually experiencing growth in 2020!

US Book Publishing Remains Resilient: Print and Ebook Sales Are Growing | Jane Friedman

Today’s post features information that originally appeared in my paid newsletter, The Hot Sheet. As much of the retail world faces crisis, book publishing is positioned to grow in terms of unit sales when compared to 2019. In fact, 2020 may prove to be one of the strongest sales years in recent memory.

Not all aspects of publishing are fairing well during the pandemic; Bookseller W.H. Smith is expected to cut up to 1500 jobs as they restructure post-Covid-19.

W H Smith to cut up to 1,500 jobs in restructure after Covid-19 hits business

W H Smith has announced plans for a major restructure which could see around 1,500 roles made redundant across the business. In a trading update, the retailer said reduced passenger numbers and lower footfall in towns and cities meant it was reviewing its store operation across its Travel and High Street business.


The American Library Association has announced they’ll be moving their 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits online.

ALA Cancels 2021 Midwinter Meeting, Announces Virtual Conference

Though we very much hoped to be able to meet in person in Indianapolis, the health and safety of conference attendees, ALA members and staff, exhibitors, and other stakeholders are the priority, said Julius C. Jefferson Jr., ALA president, in announcing the move.


The legendary publishing magazine The Bookseller has been acquired by the publisher of the theatre magazine, The Stage.

The Bookseller acquired by publisher of the Stage

The Bookseller has been acquired by the publisher of theatre magazine the Stage, in a move that will see the 162-year-old book trade newspaper join forces with the 140-year-old brand. Discussions between the two organisations started in autumn 2019 and the deal is effective immediately. Terms of the transaction were not made available.

Author Ta Nehisi Coates will be the guest editor of Vanity Fair’s September issue.

Ta-Nehisi Coates to Guest-Edit the September Issue of Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair editor in chief Radhika Jones announced today that Ta-Nehisi Coates is serving as guest editor for the September issue, a special edition exploring art, activism, and power in 21st-century America. New subscribers can secure their copy by visiting this link.


The longlist for the Guardian’s annual “Not the Booker Prize” has been announced – time to get reading and cast your vote!

Not the Booker prize longlist: vote now to decide the 2020 shortlist

We now have a Not the Booker longlist – and it’s a very, very long longlist. We have more than 200 eligible books this year, which is a record for the competition. It’s also a fantastic endorsement of the work writers and publishers have been doing in this past year, in spite of …

The Scotiabank Giller Prize has donated $25,000 to both the Indigenous Literary Studies Association and Diaspora Dialogues, two organizations that support BIPOC writers.

Giller Foundation donates $50K to two organizations that support BIPOC writers | CBC Books

The Giller Foundation, which is responsible for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, has made donations to the Indigenous Literary Studies Association (ILSA) and to Diaspora Dialogues. Each organization will receive $25,000. The donation was inspired by the ongoing challenges society has faced in 2020, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of protests for racial justice around the world.


The winners of the 2020 Hugo Awards were announced last Saturday!

2020 Hugo Awards

Presented at: CoNZealand, Wellington, New Zealand Host: George R.R. Martin Base design: John Flower Awards Administration: Tammy Coxen, Nicholas Whyte, Ian Moore, Kat Jones, Susan de Guardiola The 2020 Hugo Award winners were announced in an online ceremony produced by CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, on Saturday 1 Aug 2020 (New Zealand Standard Time).

However, George R.R. Martin has come under fire for his performance as host of the virtual awards ceremony.

George R.R. Martin Accused of Racism, Generally Sucking After Hosting Hugos

George R.R. Martin hosted the digital ceremony for the 2020 Hugo Awards, the annual event dedicated to science-fiction and fantasy writers and creators, on Friday. To celebrate a particularly diverse year of nominations – Comic Years reports that the all-female slate of Best Novel nominees was a Hugo first – Martin opted to repeatedly reference racist figures in the science-fiction community.


The University of Texas San Antonio was in the process of digitizing the largest collection of historic Mexican cookbooks when the pandemic hit. Now, they’re releasing recipes from the collection in free eBooks!

A University Is Turning Historical Mexican Recipes Into Free E-Books

In February, Gastro Obscura broke the exciting news that The University of Texas at San Antonio was digitizing the largest collection of historic Mexican cookbooks in the United States. While the spread of COVID-19 has since brought that project to a screeching halt, the university is now releasing recipes from the collection in free e-books.

While many museums remain closed or require far-in-advance reservations to maintain social distancing, a website dedicated to historic books has been created to fill the museum-shaped gap in your life.

Discover the UK’s Historic Books

While curators are scrambling to get shows back into exhibition spaces, a new project encouraging readers to get to know some of the book treasures in England’s libraries in East Anglia has launched online.

The original, hand-written manuscript for Anne of Green Gables will be available online in 2022.

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables manuscript going online | CBC News

Starting in 2022, people will be able to read Anne of Green Gables online thanks to a new digital version of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s original manuscript. The hand-written manuscript will be the centrepiece of a digital exhibition involving the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) and the University of Prince Edward Island’s L.M.


Marisa Tomei has been announced as the narrator for the audiobook of Elena Ferrante’s upcoming novel, The Lying Life of Adults.

Marisa Tomei to Narrate Audiobook for Elena Ferrante’s New Novel

You’ll be able to cry along with Marisa Tomei listening to the audiobook of Elena Ferrante’s upcoming novel, The Lying Life of Adults . The Academy Award winner makes her audiobook debut with the Italian novelist behind the powerful Neapolitan novels.


If you (like me) have been spending more (too much) time online since lockdown began, you too might really enjoy this paper on linguistic theories behind memes.

How to Meme What You Say | JSTOR Daily

Good news! Recently, many curve-flattening countries began opening up their borders to certain international travelers- but not, alas, to citizens of the United States. … *cries in American* In a socially distant world, online life for many people has become normal life.


William Wordsworth’s former home has been sold for two million pounds to a Buddhist charity, the Alfoxton Park Trust, which intends to renovate the modest, 17-bedroom home into a retreat centre.

Wordsworth’s former Somerset home sold to Buddhist charity

A FORMER Somerset home of poet William Wordsworth has been sold for around £2,000,000 – to a Buddhist charity. The Grade II listed former Alfoxton Park Hotel estate, in Holford in the Quantocks, has been sold to the Alfoxton Park Trust.

The first trailer for Charlie Kaufman’s adaptation of Iain Reid’s novel I’m Thinking of Ending Things has been released.

Watch the trailer for Charlie Kaufman’s adaptation of I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid | CBC Books

Netflix has released the trailer for the film adaptation of I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid. I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a psychological thriller about a woman who, on her way to meet her boyfriend’s parents for the first time, struggles to determine whether she’s happy in the relationship.


If you need some weekend viewing inspiration (and live in Canada or have a Canadian VPN), the documentary The Booksellers is now available to watch on CBC Gem!

CBC Gem

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Have a wonderful weekend!


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Rachel
, Author Engagement Intern

“This is maybe the weirdest book I’ve read in a while, and I mean that in the best possible way. I can’t stop thinking about it! From the fully formed characters to the wildly original plot to the stunning visuals — I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, especially if you know and love New York City.”

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