Two OpenAI book Lawsuits Partially Dismissed by California Court

(Wed, 14 Feb 2024 06:00:00 -0600)

Two copyright infringement lawsuits brought forward by authors against artificial intelligence company OpenAI have been partially dismissed in court. The cases, led by comedian Sarah Silverman and novelist Paul Tremblay, alleged that OpenAI unlawfully used their books to train the large language model underlying artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT, which produces human-like text in response to prompts.

Romance Bookstores are Taking Over America

(Wed, 14 Feb 2024 06:00:00 -0600)

Five years ago, there was just one. Now bookshops exclusively stocking romance novels are everywhere – aiming to 'undo generations of shame'... At least eight other dedicated romance novel bookstores opened across the US in 2023, in cities from Wichita, Kansas, to Belfast, Maine. At least three more have opened so far in 2024, in Florida and in Utah, with another planned in Portland, Oregon.

Gen Z Turns to Physical Books and Libraries

(Fri, 9 Feb 2024 06:00:00 -0600)

They have killed skinny jeans and continue to shame millennials for having side partings in their hair. They think using the crying tears emoji to express laughter is embarrassing. But now comes a surprising gen Z plot twist. One habit that those born between 1997 and 2012 are keen to endorse is reading – and it's physical books rather than digital that they are thumbing...

2024 PEN/Faulkner Award Longlist Announced

(Tue, 6 Feb 2024 06:00:00 -0600)

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation has announced the longlist for the 2024 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The jury—comprising Xochitl Gonzalez, Alan Michael Parker, and Lynn Steger Strong—evaluated 445 eligible novels and short story collections submitted by 205 publishing houses. The winner will be announced on May 2.

Simon & Schuster Turns 100

(Thu, 1 Feb 2024 06:00:00 -0600)

With Simon & Schuster turning 100 years old this year, the company has a slate of activities and celebrations planned to mark the anniversary.

Yesterday, S&S unveiled the Simon & Schuster 100, a collection of 100 titles chosen to "represent the breadth and depth of the company's publishing program, across genres, imprints, and borders." The list can be found on the 100th anniversary's dedicated website, which also includes a video marking the centennial, trivia, and other material, with more anniversary content to be added in the months ahead.

On April 8, S&S is hosting a celebration event called Author! Author! at the Town Hall auditorium in New York City. More than 30 S&S authors will take part in the event, including Fredrik Backman, Judy Blume, Jennifer Egan, Jason Reynolds, Jesmyn Ward, and many others. Tickets went on sale yesterday, and S&S will donate 20% of its net proceeds from ticket sales to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.

"For one hundred years, Simon & Schuster has brought the works of thousands of authors to millions upon millions of readers worldwide," said S&S president and CEO Jonathan Karp. "Books of every kind, for every taste. Our founders, Dick Simon and Max Schuster, and their successors, have bequeathed us a legacy of entrepreneurial publishing that we are honored to carry on today. There is much to be joyful for, both in celebrating our long and glorious history, and taking from it inspiration that still today informs our efforts in service of our authors and their books."

The festivities will continue throughout the year, with more special events and content to be announced.

Resignations, Censures Follow in Wake of Hugo Awards Controversy

(Thu, 1 Feb 2024 06:00:00 -0600)

Two leaders of Worldcon Intellectual Property (WIP), the nonprofit that holds the service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, have reportedly stepped down from their posts following accusations of censorship in the voting process for the 2023 Hugo Awards... The resignations and disciplinary actions come after the nomination data for the 2023 awards was made public on January 20 and it was revealed that certain authors and books—including R.F. Kuang's hit novel Babel—had been inexplicably deemed "not eligible" for the Hugo. Kuang is Chinese American, and her work draws heavily from Chinese culture and history. Many fans and authors have speculated that state censorship—or self-censorship under the state's watch—was the reason for the opaque ineligibility rulings by the Chengdu–based committee.

Winners of the First Annual Nero Awards

(Tue, 30 Jan 2024 06:00:00 -0600)

The winners of the first annual Nero Awards have been announced in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Debut Fiction and Children's Book. Established as a not-for-profit organization, the Nero Book Awards are run by the independent, family-owned coffee house group, Caffè Nero in partnership with the Booksellers Association, Brunel University London and Right To Dream.The Nero Awards fill a gap left by Costa who abruptly scrapped its book awards in 2023 after 50 years. The new prize aims to celebrate the "best reads of the year" by writers based in the UK and Ireland.

The winners are:

Fiction Award: The Bee Sting by Paul Murray
Nonfiction Award: Strong Female Character by Fern Brady
Debut Award: Close to Home by Michael Magee
Children's Award: The Swifts by Beth Lincoln

Click below to read about the winners of the three adult categories

N Scott Momaday, Pulitzer-winning Native American novelist, dies aged 89

(Mon, 29 Jan 2024 06:00:00 -0600)

N Scott Momaday, a Pulitzer prize-winning storyteller, poet, educator and folklorist whose debut novel House Made of Dawn is widely credited as the starting point for contemporary Native American literature, has died. He was 89.

Momaday died on Wednesday at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, publisher HarperCollins announced. He had been in failing health.

"Scott was an extraordinary person and an extraordinary poet and writer. He was a singular voice in American literature, and it was an honor and a privilege to work with him," Momaday's editor, Jennifer Civiletto, said in a statement. "His Kiowa heritage was deeply meaningful to him and he devoted much of his life to celebrating and preserving Native American culture, especially the oral tradition."

2024 National Book Critics Circle Awards Finalists Announced

(Thu, 25 Jan 2024 15:09:34 -0600)

The National Book Critics Circle has announced 30 finalists in six categories—autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, general nonfiction, and poetry—for the 2024 National Book Critics Circle Awards, which recognizes books from the publishing year 2023.

In addition, finalists for the John Leonard Prize for Best First Book and Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize have been announced, along with the winners of the Nona Balakian Citation for a working book critic, the Toni Morrison award for an institution, the NBCC Service Award, and the Ivan Sandrof lifetime achievement award.

How many books will you read before you die?

(Thu, 25 Jan 2024 06:00:00 -0600)

From The Economist: "Our back-of-the-envelope calculations show how many books you can still hope to read—and how to make time for the best ones.

We started by asking 1,500 Americans about their reading habits with help from YouGov, a pollster. Only 54% of respondents said they read or listened to a book in 2023. Of those who did, the average was 11 books. By that count, if a seven-year-old began reading in 2023, they would get through roughly 770 books in their lifetime, according to actuarial tables. A 30-year-old might have around 500 left to read. And someone in their 70s might be down to their last 100."