Books news

February 14, 2021

Costa Book Awards shortlists

Shortlists in five categories have been announced for the 2021 Costa Book Awards, recognizing some of the most enjoyable books published in the last year by authors living in the U.K. and Ireland. Category winners will be announced January 4, and the overall winner of the Costa Book of the Year...

NFT is Collins Dictionary's word of the year

In a year that has seen the musician Grimes sell a collection of digital artworks for almost $6m (£4.4m), and the original photo behind the 2005 Disaster Girl meme go for $473,000 (£354,000), Collins Dictionary has made NFT its word of the year.

Award-winning American poet Robert Bly dies aged 94

The poet Robert Bly, who counted the National Book Award and the Poetry Society of America's Frost Medal among his many honours, has died. He was 94. The Star Tribune newspaper, in his native Minnesota, said Bly died on Sunday. His daughter, Mary Bly, told the Associated Press that he died...

NPR books editor Petra Mayer has died

Petra Mayer, a beloved books editor on NPR's Culture desk, died on Saturday. She died suddenly at Holy Cross Hospital in Maryland of what's believed to be a pulmonary embolism, said Nancy Barnes, NPR's senior vice president for news, in an email to staff. "Petra was NPR through...

Bestselling novelist Wilbur Smith dies aged 88

Novelist Wilbur Smith died on November 13 aged 88, according to a statement from the author's official website: "Global bestselling author Wilbur Smith died unexpectedly this afternoon at his Cape Town home after a morning of reading and writing with his wife Niso by his side," the...

Movement builds on right to target books

...It's easy to caricature a particular movement with some of its most extreme promoters. And there is a demonstrated history of efforts to ban books in schools, including by liberals. Such efforts have often involved classics such as "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "To Kill a...

Paul Newman will tell his own story, 14 years after his death

Decades ago, the actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, frustrated by all the unauthorized biographies and coverage of his life, recorded his own oral history, leaving behind transcripts that for years were forgotten in the basement laundry room of his house in Connecticut. Now his family has...

Is Superman Circumcised? favorite to win Oddest book title of the year

Voting for the annual Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year is now open. The six contenders waiting for your vote are:1. Curves for the Mathematically Curious2. Handbook of Research on Health and Environmental Benefits of Camel Products3. Hats: A Very Unnatural History4. Is Superman...

Damon Galgut wins Booker prize with 'spectacular' novel The Promise

Damon Galgut has won the Booker prize for his portrait of a white South African family navigating the end of apartheid. The judges praised The Promise as "a spectacular demonstration of how the novel can make us see and think afresh", and compared it to the work of William Faulkner and...

Justice Department sues to block Penguin Random House acquisition of S&S

The U.S. Department of Justice has sued to block Penguin Random House parent company Bertelsmann's proposed acquisition of Viacom CBS subsidiary Simon & Schuster, arguing that it "would result in substantial harm to authors." ... The DoJ alleges that the proposed acquisition...