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Defamation by a Fictional Character, A Raptors 905 Reading Group, and a Huge Fall 2020: This Week in Book News

Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev on Unsplash

Good afternoon and happy Friday, everyone! Another week has just flown by, making me worry about how quickly winter and it’s accompanying cold is approaching. I’m not ready! Although I guess with colder weather comes more opportunities to snuggle up with a cozy blanket and a good book, right? Silver linings and all that. Anyway, I digress. We’re here to take a look at the news from around publishing this week, so let’s do that, shall we?


The fall is usually the busiest season in publishing, and given the number of huge titles that were delayed due to the pandemic, fall 2020 is gearing up to be even bigger than usual.

‘It’s a mega year!’: book trade braces for autumn onslaught of major new titles

From Richard Osman’s first crime novel to Caitlin Moran’s new memoir, almost 600 hardbacks are due to be published on 3 September in a “massive bun fight” of new titles, as books delayed over the summer due to Covid-19 finally make it on to shelves.

The Women’s Prize for fiction has started a new initiative called the “Reclaim Her Name” project, which is releasing a collection of fictional works written by women that were originally published using male pseudonyms. While many are applauding this initiative, some critics are questioning if it’s ignoring the original intent behind some of these pen names.

The #ReclaimHerName initiative ignores the authorial choices of the writers it represents.

The Women’s Prize for Fiction recently debuted an upcoming project which will mark the 25th anniversary of the prize: an initiative called ” Reclaim Her Name” (#ReclaimHerName) which republishes famous works by twenty-five female authors who published under male nom-de-plumes in the 19th and early 20th centuries, including George Eliot, George Sand, Vernon Lee, and Arnold Petri.


Real life lawyer Alan Dershowitz is suing a fictional lawyer for defamation. Wild, right? But if he wins, this could have serious implications in the world of historical and biographical fiction.

Perspective | Alan Dershowitz claims a fictional lawyer defamed him. The implications for novelists are very real.

Alan Dershowitz, who is a real lawyer, claims he has been defamed by Benjamin Dafoe, who is a fictional lawyer. Hang on, your honor. Things are about to get complicated. “The Good Fight,” which streams on CBS All Access, frequently revolves around ripped-from-the-headlines events.


New York Comic Con, the biggest pop culture convention on the east coast (and my personal favourite), is partnering with Youtube and moving online for 2020.

New York Comic Con Is Going Online

The annual New York Comic Con, which was scheduled to be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center Oct. 8 through Oct. 11, is going virtual. It is the latest comic book convention to go online in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Toronto Raptors’ G-League Team, the 905, and Penguin Random House have teamed up to create a children’s reading group focused on inclusion.

Raptors 905 and Penguin Random House team up for a children’s reading program focused on empathy and inclusion | CBC Books

Penguin Random House Canada, First Book Canada and the Raptors 905 have partnered to launch the Raptors 905 Summer Reading Challenge. 200 Grade 5 students, mostly from Ontario’s Peel Region, are being challenged to read for a cumulative total of 905 minutes – or one book a week for five weeks.

Ontario publisher Biblioasis is launching a new series of “short take” books that will respond quickly to current events.

Biblioasis launching Field Notes, a new series of ‘short take’ books that will respond to current events | CBC Books

Windsor, Ont.-based publisher Biblioasis is launching a new series of books designed to be responsive to current affairs and issues impacting our world. The series is called Field Notes and will respond to timely topics we see in the news, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the protests against anti-Black racism.

The longlist for the 2020 Journey Prize for short fiction has been released.

13 emerging Canadian writers make 2020 longlist for $10K Journey Prize for short fiction | CBC Books

Thirteen Canadian writers on the rise are on the longlist for the 2020 Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. The annual $10,000 award is given to the best short fiction published in a Canadian magazine. It is geared to writers in the early stages of their careers.


A new parody of Goodnight Moon is being released with a really cool scientific twist.

Inspire Your Toddler’s STEM Career With This ‘Goodnight Moon’ Parody

smithsonianmag.com Kimberly Arcand looks at the stars for a living. A visualization scientist for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Arcand has made it her life’s work to help tell the stories of space.


Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has found a publisher for his new tell-all, Disloyal.

Skyhorse Will Publish Michael Cohen’s Tell-all, ‘Disloyal’

Skyhorse has set a September 8 publication date for Michael Cohen’s ‘Disloyal: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump.’ The publisher calls the tell-all the most devastating business and political horror story of the century.

Former president George W. Bush will be releasing a new art book containing 43 portraits of immigrants.

George W. Bush Is Releasing a Book of Immigration Art

Former president and amateur artist George W. Bush is set to release a new book containing 43 portraits of immigrants. The book, titled Out of Many, One, will publish in March, in conjunction with an exhibition at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, where the paintings will also be displayed.


After the massive success of the latest addition to the Twilight Series, Midnight Sun, Stephanie Meyer has confirmed that more books in the sparkly vampire universe are planned.

As Midnight Sun hits No 1, Stephenie Meyer plans two more Twilight books

Stephenie Meyer has revealed she has plans for at least two more books in her vampire saga Twilight, as the latest instalment Midnight Sun shot straight to the top of the charts in both the UK and US, where it has sold more than 1m copies in a week.

Award winning author Ian Williams will be releasing an essay collection about race in the fall of 2021.

Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author Ian Williams to write a book of essays about race, due out in fall 2021 | CBC Books

Ian Williams, author of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novel Reproduction, is writing a book about race. The nonfiction book, titled Disorientation: The Experience of Being Black in the World, will be released in the fall of 2021. Disorientation is inspired by the essays of the late American author James Baldwin in Notes of a Native Son and Nobody Knows my Name.


Sharon Stone has announced she’ll be writing a Hollywood memoir.

Sharon Stone to write a Hollywood memoir that looks at her violent childhood and the price of fame | CBC Books

Books The Beauty of Living Twice, which explores the 62-year-old actor’s life and career, will be published March 2021. Sharon Stone has taken on a new, real-life role – memoir writer. “I have learned to forgive the unforgivable,” said Stone, whose memoir, titled The Beauty of Living Twice, comes out in March of 2021.

Bette Midler is writing a children’s book about a real-life mandarin duck that appeared in Central Park in 2018 (the Wind Beneath Your Wings puns have already begun).

Bette Midler to Write Kid’s Book About the Wind Beneath the Hot Duck’s Wings

Well, well, hello, ducky! Bette Midler announced on Thursday she’ll be publishing a children’s picture book with Random House next year about, wait for it, New York’s hot duck. Lest you’ve forgotten because we live in hell and 2018 was 74 years ago, the hot duck was a colorful mandarin duck that appeared in Central Park and captivated us all.

The book trailer and a sneak peak at Weird Al’s photo book have been released.

First look at ‘Weird Al’ photo book ‘Black & White & Weird All Over’

A new book of unreleased photos offers a behind-the-scenes look at the career of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic. How did “Weird Al” Yankovic get weird in the first place? That question is at least partly answered by a new book, Black & White & Weird All Over, which is released by 1984 Publishing Oct.


HBO has announced the cast for their adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and it is STELLAR.


It’s no secret that many of us have struggled with reading throughout this pandemic, so here are some ideas on how to rekindle your love of reading! One, consider joining a virtual book club! The New York Times has gathered up some of the best ones, along with their August picks to help you get inspired

Find a Popular Virtual Book Club

Find a Popular Virtual Book Club One activity that the pandemic hasn’t interrupted? Reading. If you’re looking to join a well-established virtual book club, for community or structure, here are a few places to start → NYPL/WNYC’s Virtual Book Club You don’t have to be a New Yorker to enjoy this group, which sprang up after the pandemic as a way to foster community.

Alternatively, this article suggests revisiting some of your childhood favourites to find that spark that helped you fall in love with reading to begin with.

Get Happier by Rereading Your Favorite Books From Childhood

Until quite recently, I hadn’t finished a book since the end of January. In that sense, I’m not so unusual-a 2018 study from the Pew Research Group revealed 24 percent of Americans hadn’t read an entire book, or even a portion of one, in the 12 months prior-but this is very unusual for me, a person who touts nine years of completed reading challenges on his Goodreads profile (with an average annual goal of 75 books).


One of my favourite pieces this week was this interview in The Atlantic about two best friends who run a bookstore together.

The Empty Nesters Who Run a Bookstore-And Live Together

Beck: What is it about reading that facilitates friendship for you? VaLinda: Me and Arrylee, we will argue or discuss a book for days. Arrylee: We have different opinions on every book we read. VaLinda: I am a big Agatha Christie fan.

And last, but certainly not least, this list of Hamlets in pop culture ranked is both spectacular, and might cause you to fall into a Shakespearean-Youtube rabbit hole. If you happen to have a favourite Shakespearean portrayal from pop culture please leave it in the comments (and might I recommend looking up Stephanie Beatriz from Brooklyn Nine-Nine reading Romeo’s soliloquy? You won’t regret it).

40 Hamlets, Ranked

In recent weeks, I’ve found myself being a little too moody. Melancholic, you might say. I’ve found myself agonizing over the state of the world, and meditating a little too long on the tragic meaningless of life. Getting a bit obsessed, maybe. A bit dark.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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