Book News Roundup: Prizes, Censorship, Bans, and Sequels

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts and it probably would have been a while longer before I did one but the Man Booker Prize Winner was recently announced and I’m excited about it so I thought I’d share the good news. Guess who won?

Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize

Marlon James Man Booker Prize

If you’ve read my recent posts, then you’re not surprised that I’m excited about this. On Tuesday, October 13, it was announced that James’s recent novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, was named winner of the Man Booker Prize.

The book is a historical novel about the attempted murder of Bob Marley, which occurred in 1976. According to the Man Booker Prize announcement, the novel is a “686-page epic with over 75 characters and voices.” From BBC: “Set across three decades, the novel uses the true story of the attempt on the life of reggae star Marley to explore the turbulent world of Jamaican gangs and politics.”

James is the first Jamaican to win the award 😀 and the second Caribbean writer to do so. The first Caribbean writer to win was Trinidadian writer V.S. Naipaul, who was awarded the prize in 1971 for his novel In a Free State.

Svetlana Alexievich won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature

The Swedish Academy in Stockholm, Sweden, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature to Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”

Two of Alexievich’s books are Voices from Chernobyl, which is comprised of interviews of people affected by the nuclear disaster, and Zinky Boys, first-hand accounts of Soviet engagement in the war in Afghanistan from 1979-1989.

For more, see:

Svetlana Alexievich, Belarussian Voice of Survivors, Wins Nobel Prize in Literature [New York Times]

Svetlana Alexievich Wins the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature [Publishers Weekly]

Google wins book-scanning case

On Friday, October 16, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that Google did not violate copyright law in its project to scan millions of books for its digital library since the company is providing a public service.

Google was sued in 2005, a year after the project was launched, by the Authors Guild and several individual authors who claimed that project would negatively affect their book sales. [Reuters]

Publishers Pledge to Fight Chinese Censorship

The PEN American Center recently announced that 12 publishers have pledged “to monitor and address incidents of censorship in translations of books by foreign authors for the Chinese market.”

A report by the center in May revealed that many foreign publishers, authors, and agents were not aware that their books were censored in China. Books would be censored for “politically sensitive topics as well as sexually explicit and LGBT-related materials for the domestic market.” The purpose of the pledge is to help minimize such changes and “ensure that authors can make a conscientious decision on how to respond to such censorship.” [PEN American Center]

Marvel will release Ant Man sequel in 2018
From the first movie.
From the first movie.

I didn’t get to see Ant Man in theatres but I heard it was great. Apparently it’s good enough to warrant a sequel, which is scheduled to drop on July 6, 2018. For a list of anticipated Marvel movie release dates, visit Galley Cat.

Ban lifted on YA novel in New Zealand

Into the River

The ban on Ted Dawe’s young-adult novel, Into the River, was recently lifted. In September, it was announced that Bob McCoskrie, director of Family First, a conservative Christian group, sent the book to the New Zealand Film and Literature Board of Review, making Dawe’s novel the first book to be banned in New Zealand in 22 years.

According to the New Zealand Herald, “the book, which features sexually explicit content, drug use and use of slang for female genitalia, is now classified as unrestricted.” The paper states that the Film and Literature Board ruled that the book does not promote the “unacceptable, offensive and objectionable” behaviors presented in the story.

For more, see:

New Zealand Just Banned a Book for the First Time in 22 Years (Vice)

Young Adult Novel Into the River Banned in New Zealand Over ‘Sexual Content and Drug Taking’ (The Independent)

Barnes & Noble news

Barnes & Noble will close its last store in Washington D.C. by the end of the year. A Barnes & Noble official told the Washington Post that “the bookstore, located on the corner of 12th and E streets NW, was unable to reach an agreement with its landlord to extend its lease and will be looking for a replacement location in the near future.”

I’m so sad about this news. I really liked that bookstore. It had the perfect location. I don’t want it to move.

On a happier note, Barnes & Noble has released a new feature for its Nook customers called B&N Readouts. The feature offers a daily selection of book excerpts and full articles from current periodicals that are tailored to the customer’s interests.

Also, did you know that for a limited time you can trade in select Nook devices for one of those Nook/Samsung tablets? I’m not sure if this is available in other countries as well, but in the U.S. you can trade in say a Nook Color, receive a $50 credit, and use the credit to get one of the new Nook devices by Samsung.

I recently tried to do it but I was unsuccessful because I wasn’t ready to purchase the new tablet. You have to do the trade and purchase at the same time. Those interested have until November 7 to do their trades.

Subway Book Review coming to a city near you

Uli Beutter Cohen, founder of Subway Book Review, which features pictures of readers and their books on the New York City subway, is looking to branch out to other cities. [The Guardian]

Subway Book Review started out as an Instagram account and is now on Tumblr.  Along with the picture of the reader and book, Cohen also includes why the reader chose the particular book. “The more book reviews I collected, the more I realized how often current events and the reader’s personal story are reflected in their choice of book,” said Cohen on her Tumblr.

2 thoughts on “Book News Roundup: Prizes, Censorship, Bans, and Sequels

  1. A great round up booky news zee,
    Congratulations must go to Marlon James, wow i think he gets 105k of prize money plus the prestige of the booker.

    And also to ted dawe, i think the publicity will and has sent the sales of his book through the roof, so hahaha to the book banners 😛

    And that’s sad that barnes and noble will shut their store, is that the one in dupont circle?
    You should chain yourself to the doors and protest!
    Let the owners of the building know it’s bad, bad to to close bookstores down.

    Liked by 1 person

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