Happy Friday, writers! We hope that everyone is continuing to stay safe as the times take a turn back to being unprecedented. Our cover contest continues to be in full swing, with our last round of the semi-finals starting on Monday.

As the year winds down, so does the news around the publishing world, but let’s take a quick look at what did happen this week in book news.

PRH and S&S are claiming that the lawsuit to block their merger is misguided.

PRH and S&S call the lawsuit against them “legally, factually, and economically wrong.”

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit to block Penguin Random House’s acquisition of Simon & Schuster, claiming the proposed merger would “likely result in substantial harm to authors of anticipated top-selling books and ultimately, consumers.”

The Association of American Publishers have filed for an injunction to stop Maryland’s Library eBook law.

AAP Seeks Preliminary Injunction to Stop Maryland’s Library E-book Law

A week after filing suit to nullify Maryland’s library e-book law, lawyers for the Association of American Publishers filed a subsequent motion for a preliminary injunction, arguing that if the law is allowed to take effect, AAP members will suffer irreparable harm.

Bloomsbury has acquired academic publisher ABC-CLIO in a multimillion dollar deal.

Bloomsbury acquires US academic publisher ABC-CLIO in £17.3m deal

Bloomsbury has acquired California-based academic publisher ABC-CLIO in a $22.9m (£17.3m) deal, expanding its academic and digital publishing presence in North America. Located in Santa Barbara, the publisher produces a range of reference, non-fiction, online curriculum and professional development materials in both print and digital formats for schools, academic libraries and public libraries, primarily in the US.

The literary world lost a couple of giants this week. Influential Black Feminist bell hooks has died at 69.

bell hooks, generous feminist thinker, has died at 69.

Widely influential feminist thinker and writer bell hooks, given name Gloria Jean Watkins, died today at her home in Berea, Kentucky surrounded by family and friends. She was 69. “The family is honored that Gloria received numerous awards, honors, and international fame for her works as poet, author, feminist, professor, cultural critic, and social activist,” read a statement from her family released by Ebony Motley, her niece.

And Anne Rice, the author behind The Vampire Chronicles, passed away at 80.

Anne Rice, the Queen of Gothic Literature, has died at the age of 80.

Anne Rice, the prolific and beloved author of gothic novels, most famous for her 1976 debut Interview with the Vampire and its sequels, died on Sunday in Rancho Mirage, California, from complications from a stroke. She was 80. Rice’s son, the author Christopher Rice, posted the news on her Facebook page.

Andrew Cuomo has been ordered to return over a million dollars in book proceeds.

Andrew Cuomo ordered to return millions in book proceeds

Andrew Cuomo must return millions of dollars in proceeds from a memoir published while he was governor of New York, a state ethics panel voted Tuesday. Members of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics voted 12-1 for a resolution giving Cuomo 30 days to turn the money over to the New York State Attorney General.

A UK library filled with literary treasures has been saved from falling into private hands.

Lost library of literary treasures saved for UK after charity raises £15m

It is an unprecedented treasure trove of the UK’s literary heritage, from a letter in which Jane Austen anticipates the end of a love affair, to a handwritten manuscript of Emily Brontë’s poems that was once believed lost. Now the Honresfield library has been saved for the nation after a charity raised more than £15m in just five months to acquire it.

Publishers Weekly has named The New Press publisher Ellen Adler their person of the year.

PW’s Person of the Year: Ellen Adler

Since its launch in 1992, The New Press has been ahead of the publishing curve in a number of important ways, including in finding and publishing future award-winning authors early in their careers and in committing to building a diverse staff and publishing a wide range of voices.

Barack Obama has released his annual list of his favourite books of the year.

How many of Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2021 have you read?

Yesterday, Barack Obama-former president and current book-recommending powerhouse- dropped his annual year-end list of favorite books, including some he recommended earlier this year and some new titles. Very useful if, like many other Americans, if you’re searching for a last-minute holiday gift-or just see how your year-end favorites stack up to Obama’s.

The 2021 Kids’ Book Choice Awards have been announced.

2021 Kids’ Book Choice Awards Announced

Every Child a Reader, the charitable arm of the Children’s Book Council, has revealed the winners of its Kids’ Book Choice Awards, formerly known as the Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards. Launched in 2008 by the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader, these are the only national book awards selected exclusively by young readers.

We have seen a lot of news about books being banned in schools throughout America, and this piece offers a look at what it’s like to be an author of one of those banned books.

What It’s Like to Have Your Book Banned by the School Board

Ashley Pérez used to teach English, down in Texas. Back in the early 2000s, that meant assigning the so-called classics- To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, Shakespeare. I asked her whether there were any books she wouldn’t teach. “I didn’t teach from my district literature textbook at all.

Have a great weekend!

Staff Pick

Tara, Director of Kobo Writing Life

Murder Most Actual is a cozy mystery that feels as satisfying as an Agatha Christie mystery and as witty and engaging as Knives Out. The setting is a remote Scottish castle during a snow storm where the guests keep mysteriously dying. With tongue very much in cheek, Alexis Hall leads us through a number of characters that seem to have jumped right out of Cluedo. It’s a very enjoyable read, especially for this time of year. Get cozy and read it while the snow comes down outside.”

Murder Most Actual by Alexis Hall
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