Shelf Life Book news, reviews, trends, and talk

Tag: Man Booker Prize (1-10 of 19)

On the Books: American authors land on Booker Prize longlist

Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler, Siri Hustvedt, and Richard Powers are the Americans who made this year’s Man Booker Prize longlist. For the first time, Britain’s most prestigious literary award is open to authors in the U.S., as long as the books are also published in Britain. The list is male-dominated: only three of its 13 writers are women. The toast of America’s literary establishment last year, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, was snubbed. Last year, 28-year-old author Eleanor Catton won for her 800-page novel The Luminaries. A shortlist will be announced on September 9th, and the winner on October 14th. [The New York Times]

In Amazon news, vice president of Kindle Content Russ Grandinetti has asked authors to stop complaining about the company. A group of authors—including Lee Child, Stephen King, John Grisham, and James Patterson—are planning to publish a full-page ad in The New York Times explaining why they are siding against Amazon in the Amazon-Hachette dispute. Grandinetti asked the group to stop publication of the ad, and proposed a plan where Amazon to stock Hachette titles and give authors standard royalties on ebooks. While Amazon and Hachette continue to negotiate among themselves, the proceeds each company normally earns would go to a literacy charity. [Publishers Weekly] READ FULL STORY

On The Books: Let's hope you don't win a book prize

You better hope you haven’t been nominated for any book prizes this year. (No, not really. Let’s hope you have.) A new study coming out in the March issue of Administrative Science Quarterly finds that prize winners face a backlash from readers. According to The Guardian, Amanda Sharkey and Balázs Kovács looked at 38,817 reader reviews on They compared the reviews of books that had won an award to reviews of books that had not. Apparently the reviews of the award winners took a notable nose dive after their authors’ accolades were announced. Sharkey and Kovács hypothesized that “many readers who are drawn in by prize-winning books tend to have tastes that are simply not predisposed to liking the types of books that win prizes.” That sounds like a circumspect way of calling us superficial social climbers for reading a book because it won an award. Doesn’t everyone presume something award-winning must be particularly outstanding and therefore worthy of our time? That doesn’t mean every book that wins a Booker Prize or every movie that wins an Oscar or every restaurant that wins a James Beard Award is going to be your favorite thing ever, but still it’s worth a shot. Also, checking for your case study seems pretty amateur. What do you guys think? [The Guardian]


On the Books: Malala Yousafzai wins at Specsavers National Book Awards; Pew survey finds 95% of Americans call public libraries 'important'


Activist Malala Yousafzai has picked up another award for her book, while a Pew survey is shedding light on how Americans perceive public libraries. Read on for more top books headlines:

Malala Yousafzai’s I Am Malala has won the Nonfiction Book of the Year at the Specsavers National Book Awards, which showcases British authors as well as critically acclaimed books with worldwide appeal. [The Telegraph]

Here’s some good news: According to a new Pew survey, 95 percent of the 6200 Americans interviewed say they “agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed.” And the bad news: Only 54 percent said they actually used a public library last year. [Pew]

The National Endowment for the Arts has granted 38 writers, including Catherine Chung, Peter Gadol, and Alex Espinoza, with their Creative Writing Fellowships, a $25,000 award for each to promote creative writing in 2014. [NEA]

Author and philosopher A.C. Grayling has been announced as the chair of the Man Booker Prize judging panel for 2014, the first year that U.S. authors will also be eligible. [The Telegraph]

Mark Yakich at The Atlantic explains why poetry matters. [The Atlantic]

The list parade continues with the Huffington Post‘s picks for the 30 best art books of 2013. [Huffington Post]

ICYMI: Jason Segel has been cast as David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour, based on Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky’s report on his road trip with the author. Jesse Eisenberg will be playing David Lipsky. [EW]

On the Books: Harper Lee sues hometown museum; Alice Munro to miss Nobel awards ceremony

This week’s books news kicks off with a lawsuit, a shortlist, and a petition. Read on for today’s top headlines:

To Kill a Mockingbird novelist Harper Lee is suing a museum in her hometown for selling souvenirs with her name on them. [USA Today]

The shortlist for the 2014 Red House Children’s Book Award has been announced. The winners will be announced in London on Feb. 22, 2014. [The Telegraph]

Alice Munro, the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature, will miss the awards ceremony in Stockholm for health reasons. [Nobel Prize Twitter]

After Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries won the Man Booker Prize last week, British publisher Granta is rush-printing an extra 100,000 copies of the novel. [The Guardian]

Several self-published pornography writers whose works were removed by Amazon and other e-book retailers have launched a petition in protest. [LA Times]

Authors are accepting censorship rules in China in order to see their books published. [The New York Times]

Today’s must-read: John Williams’s Stoner has found an unexpected following in Europe, thanks to a translation by French writer Anna Gavalda. And as The New Yorker says, it’s the “greatest American novel you’ve never heard of.” [The New Yorker]

Up for debate: Sam Jordison argues that Edgar Allan Poe’s storytelling is more snooze-worthy than thrilling. Quoth the Raven: “Zzzzz.” [The Guardian]

On the Books: Apple to be monitored over deals with publishing houses; Amazon removes self-published pornographic e-books


No prizes or major announcements today, folks — this morning’s books headlines feature major companies hitting snags with publishing houses, but there are plenty of other good reads online. Check out more of today’s links below: READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Eleanor Catton wins Man Booker Prize; National Book Award finalists announced


Awards dominate today’s book news, with the youngest winner of the Man Booker Prize announced Tuesday night and the National Book Award finalists revealed this morning. Below, more of today’s top headlines and must-reads: READ FULL STORY

Eleanor Catton's 'Luminaries' wins fiction's Booker Prize

Youth and heft triumphed at the Booker Prize on Tuesday, as 28-year-old New Zealand author Eleanor Catton won the fiction award for The Luminaries, an ambitious 832-page murder mystery set during a 19th-century gold rush.

The choice should give heart to young authors of oversized tales. Catton is the youngest writer and only the second New Zealander to win the prestigious award — and her epic novel is easily the longest Booker champion.

Travel writer Robert Macfarlane, who chaired the judging panel, called The Luminaries “dazzling” and “luminous.”

“It is vast without being sprawling,” he said.

“You begin it, feel you are lost, think you are in the clutches of a big, baggy monster … but soon realize you are in something as tightly structured as an orrery,” a device for measuring the planets.

On the Books: Writers remember Oscar Hijuelos; the U.K. preps for tomorrow's Man Booker Prize announcement

Today’s top books headlines include essays dedicated to the late Oscar Hijuelos, more chatter about the Man Booker Prize, and book announcements from Carl Bernstein and Alice Walker. Read on for more:

The literary world remembered novelist Oscar Hijuelos, who died on Saturday at age 62. The late author’s friend Gustavo Perez Firmat told NPR that Hijuelos “helped to open doors with both publishers and readers to other Latino writers,” while Hector Tobar of the Los Angeles Times called Hijuelos “a cultural pioneer.”

The winner of the Man Booker Prize will be announced tomorrow, and The Telegraph breaks down the favorites, including Jhumpa Lahiri, Colm Toibin, and Jim Crace. But the controversy about including American writers is still not over, with former winner Julian Barnes commenting that British writers will be damaged by the new rules. [The Telegraph]

Back in the States, poet, professor and critic James Emanuel died Sept. 28 at age 92, according to The New York Times. His work commented on racism in America and in an interview with NPR, Emanuel explained, “If America ever solves its racial problem, it will be the greatest country in the world.”

On to some book announcements: Carl Bernstein will release a memoir in 2016 about his experience as a journalist at The Washington Star, the D.C. newspaper that folded in 1981.

The Color Purple author Alice Walker will publish a book called Gathering Blossoms Under Fire, a compilation of excerpts from her personal diaries, in 2017. [AP]

And for your must-reads of the day: Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding talked her evolution as a writer and why she took Bridget in the controversial new direction. [USA Today]

Meanwhile, Nathaniel Popkin took an in-depth look at Oscar Wilde’s stint as a journalist. [The Smart Set]

Finally, writers, it’s time to go to Iceland: The island nation is home to the largest percentage of writers in its population — one in 10 people there will publish a book. [BBC News]

On the Books: Scribd launches e-books subscription service

Author Tom Clancy, best known for The Hunt for Red October, has died at 66. Follow our developing report here. READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Dave Eggers accused of stealing female author's book idea; Bridget Jones debate continues


Thought you heard the last of Bridget Jones, the MacArthur “genius” grants, or the Man Booker Prize? Think again. Here are today’s top books headlines to kick off October: READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos in Books


TV Recaps

Powered by VIP