The finalists for the 2015 National Book Award have been announced.
The list for fiction includes:
Karen E. Bender, Refund: Stories (Soft Skull/Counterpoint Press)
Angela Flournoy, The Turner House (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies (Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House)
Adam Johnson, Fortune Smiles: Stories (Random House)
Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life (Doubleday/ Penguin Random House)
Recognitions will also be awarded in the nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature categories.
Jamaican author Marlon James has won the Man Booker Prize for his novel inspired by the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the 1970s.
Michael Wood, chair of the judges, described A Brief History of Seven Killings as the "most exciting" book on the shortlist.
Belarusian writer and journalist Svetlana Alexievich has won the 2015 Nobel Prize for literature.
Announcing the prize in Stockholm, the chair of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius, called her writing "a monument to courage and suffering in our time".
Author James Patterson has already donated millions of dollars to bookstores, libraries and other literary organizations in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Now he has set up a fund in partnership with the American Booksellers Association to provide bonuses of $1000-$5000 to bookstore employees.
To nominate your favorite bookstore employee, click on the link below and answer the question: "Why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?" The form will be open until Nov 1, so that Patterson himself can personally select the employees to receive the bonuses in time for the holidays.
Although not clear from the website, as the partnership is in association with the ABA it seems likely that the awards are limited to the USA.)
Henning Mankell, the Swedish crime writer best known for his Kurt Wallander books has died aged 67 after being diagnosed with cancer last year. Credited with almost single-handedly establishing Sweden as a crime writer's ideal dystopia, he was a dedicated political activist who packed a lot into his life including donating significant sums from the sale of 40 million books to charitable projects.
The National Book Foundation announced the 5 Under 35 honorees today:
Angela Flournoy, The Turner House (HMH)
Colin Barrett, Young Skins (Black Cat)
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, Fra Keeler (Dorothy Project)
Tracy O'Neill, The Hopeful (Ig Publishing)
Megan Kruse, Call Me Home (Hawthorne Books)
Authors Ta-Nehisi Coates and Ben Lerner and poet Ellen Bryant Voigt are among the twenty-four 2015 MacArthur fellows. Each receives a no-strings attached stipend of $625,000 over five years.
"These 24 delightfully diverse MacArthur Fellows are shedding light and making progress on critical issues, pushing the boundaries of their fields, and improving our world in imaginative, unexpected ways," said MacArthur President Julia Stasch in a statement. "Their work, their commitment, and their creativity inspire us all."
The New York Times reports on the "digital apocalypse that never arrived or at least not on schedule."
Between 2008 and 2010 e-book sales soared by 1,260 percent. Print sales fell and bookstores struggled - culminating in Borders declaring bankruptcy in 2011.
Analysts predicted that e-books would overtake print by 2015 but, today, there are signs that some e-book adopters are returning to print, or becoming hybrid readers; many indie bookstores are showing healthier profits than they have in years; and e-book sales fell by 10 percent in the first five months of this year, according to the Association of American Publishers. Digital books accounted for 20 percent of the market in 2014, approximately the same as they did a few years ago.
"Maybe it's just a pause here," said Carolyn Reidy, the president and chief executive of Simon & Schuster. "Will the next generation want to read books on their smartphones, and will we see another burst come?"
After two years of operation, Oyster, which offered unlimited access to a million titles for US$9.95 a month Oyster, is shutting down, and it would seem that most of the staff will be employed by Google Play Books, including the CEO and two cofounders.
Tech news site Re/Code reports that Google has agreed to pay Oyster investors for the right to hire away most of the Oyster staff, but it is not clear whether Google is actually buying the company.
If Google was to launch its own version of Oyster, it would be in competition with Amazon, which launched its own $10-a-month ebook service in July 2014.
Novelist Jackie Collins has died of breast cancer at the age of 77, her family said in a statement.
The British-born writer, sister of actress Joan Collins, died in Los Angeles, her spokeswoman said. Collins's career spanned four decades during which she sold more than 500 million books in 40 countries.