News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Waterstones owner exploring sale, debt refinancing (Shelf Awareness) The British bookshop chain is currently owned by Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut.
- The Fate of Bookstores After the Hurricanes (Publishers Weekly) The Florida stores interviewed here will survive. But Rockport, Texas’s Lori’s Book Nook was destroyed.
- “Fake news” is Collins Dictionary’s word of the year (The Guardian) Other “new and notable” words include gender-fluid, gig economy, and fidget spinner.
- The PEN Center USA Literary Awards paid tribute to Margaret Atwood, recognized several journalists’ work on sexual-harassment stories, and emphasized the PEN Center’s championship of free speech. (LA Times)
- Book World closing all 45 stores, holding liquidation sale (WTMJ-TV)
- The CWA Daggers award winners were announced on Oct. 26. (CWA) Note: The Crime Writers’ Association is an organization for mystery and crime writers residing in Great Britain, so not all titles will be familiar to US-based readers.
Carolyn Nichols, a writer, editor, and publisher of romance novels, has died at the age of 78. Nichols wrote mainly regency romances under the names Carolyn McNight and Iona Charles, but her real legacy was as an editor and publisher. She founded the Loveswept line at Bantam, and the Second Chance at Love line at Berkley/Jove, and is credited with emphasizing “feisty” heroines, often with some experience (in contrast to the virginal heroines of earlier decades.) Over the years, and with different imprints and houses, Nichols worked with leading authors like “Iris Johansen, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, Kay Hooper, Tami Hoag, Janet Evanovich, Mary Kay McComas, Kristin Hannah, and Carla Neggers.” In addition to her roles in publishing, Nichols had worked as an actor, model, and television writer. (quote source: Shelf Awareness)
Obituaries and tributes: Romance Writers of America; Shelf Awareness; Washington Post
- Triple trouble: Why book trilogies are better than film (The Guardian)
- The Difference Between Fiction and Nonfiction (Matt Grant, Book Riot) It goes beyond “made up” vs. “real.” Bonus: if you’ve ever wondered what “creative nonfiction” is, here’s a clear explanation.
- Reader Shame: Failing Reading. (Dana Staves, Book Riot) Remember having to fill out a reading log for your English teacher in school? Turns out some of us weren’t that good at it — the log, not the reading.
Book, Movie, & Theatre Announcements
- Toshi Reagon on Adapting Parable of the Sower for the Stage and the Urgency of Butler’s Work (The Portalist) Reagon (pronounced REE-guhn), the daughter of singer Bernice Reagon and a well-known and widely respected musician in her own right, has written and directed an opera based on Octavia E. Butler’s SF novel, Parable of the Sower. In an interview, Reagon talks about why she feels the work is so important. (Full disclosure: I went to high school with Toshi, and had the honor of sharing the stage with her in several Gilbert & Sullivan productions. She’s an amazing musician and human being.)
That’s it for this week!