Hello and happy first Friday of the fall, everyone!. I know, I know, *technically* summer doesn’t end for another ten days, but the kids are back in school, it’s been a chilly and grey week in Toronto, and I’m currently sipping on a Pumpkin Spice Latte… as far as I’m concerned it’s autumn. Which means the busiest season of the publishing industry is upon us!
And speaking of the busiest season of the year, remember all of those titles that were delayed due to Covid-19? Well they are starting to get released and UK booksellers are reporting an unprecedented boom in sales.
The Frankfurt Book Fair has (finally) cancelled it’s in person event and has moved online.
Now that we’re six months (!!!!!!!) into the pandemic, virtual events have become the standard across almost all industries. But are they as good as in person events? A group of publishing industry folk have weighed in on the pros and cons of virtual events.
Penguin Random House has released a report on diversity within its workplace and its results, while disappointing, are not all that surprising.
Ayad Akhtar has been announced as the next president of PEN America.
Eurovision winner Dana International has been signed on to work as a literary agent for The Blair Partnership.
Lots of folks have used quarantine as an opportunity to clean out their houses and their bookshelves, but how can you safely donate your books during the pandemic?
A teacher in Baltimore publishes her students’ work in an effort to demonstrate what it means to give students a voice.
Political memoirs during the current administration have seen and uptick in both volume and time spent on the bestseller lists.
And while we’ve had (more than) our fair share of books about the current commander in chief, New Yorker staff writer Evan Osnos will be publishing a book about the Democratic nominee Joe Biden this October.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling nostalgic for the previous administration, Simon and Schuster Audio have announced that they’ll be releasing an audiobook of Barack Obama’s 60 Minutes interviews this October.
There has been a lot of literary prize news recently. The longlist for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize has been announced, and my to read list has grown by roughly 13 books.
The finalists for the International Dublin Literary Award have been announced.
Maggie O’Farrell has won the Women’s Prize for Fiction for her novel Hamnet & Judith.
If you’re hoping to get a little prize money of your own (and are a Canadian author), the CBC Short Story Prize has opened for submissions!
September in Toronto usually means huge crowds of film lovers and celebrities gather around the red carpets of the Toronto International Film Festival. Of course in 2020, the year of virtual events, TIFF is online and more accessible to folks outside of the city! CBC has compiled a list of literary adaptations to look out for as you plan your TIFF screening schedule.
If you’ve had your books translated, you might appreciate this interview with Ann Goldstein, the person who translates Elena Ferrante’s books from Italian into English.
Even the most beloved books get poor review. Just check out these one star reviews for true crime masterpiece In Cold Blood.
With school back in session, and many parents taking on home schooling responsibilities or helping their kids through virtual learning, NPR has curated a list of the best 100 books for young readers.
Have a couple extra million dollars kicking around? Well the home said to inspire Wuthering Heights is on the market!
My two favourite pieces of the past two weeks reside on opposite sides of the literary spectrum. First, I highly recommend this gorgeous and heart wrenching piece by novelist Jesmyn Ward, who was written her way through the grief that followed losing her husband to Covid-19.
And second, like most writers, Stephanie Meyer has a word she tends to overuse: “murmur”. The word appears almost 400 times throughout the Twilight Saga, and Slate has done us the great service of ranking every single one of them.
Have a great weekend, y’all!
Joni, Author Engagement Specialist
“Dear Emmie Blue was released in July and was such a charming and heartwarming read! The book tells the story of Emmie, who as a teenager, released a balloon with her name and email address – and a dark secret. Weeks later, Lucas found her balloon and emailed her, sparking off a friendship that lasts for years. Now Lucas is getting married, and Emmie is trying to hide the fact she’s desperately in love with him… I read it in a single sitting and it was the perfect distraction from all the general background stress of 2020. Highly recommend if you’re looking for a great story and warm, fuzzy feelings!”