Dog-Eared and Dispatched: April 26, 2015
If you are a resident of the United States, you probably missed World Book Day, the holiday that seems to have escaped domestic notice. Luckily, you can still fill up on bookishness because this week is packed on the literary front with 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winners and lots of news from Penguin Random House. If you are an indie looking for offbeat updates, our footnotes also cover a range of good-to-knows including the Orange Public Library parody video, the first bookstore selling only self-published books, and an initiative to get children’s books into women’s penitentiaries. Ready? Set? Read!
In response to the 2012 decision to withhold a Pulitzer Prize for fiction (which of course led to the foundation of our own Debut-litzer prize!), the Pulitzer Prize Board asked the fiction jury for a fourth submission. The winners include Tin House author Anthony Doerr. Check out all of the award winners and finalists listed below:
Winner: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- Let Me Be Frank with You by Richard Ford
- The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami
- Lovely, Dark & Deep by Joyce Carol Oates
Winner: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
- No Good Men Among the Living by Anand Gopal
- Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos
Winner: Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People by Elizabeth A. Fenn
- Empire of Cotton: A Global History by Sven Beckert
- An Empire on the Edge by Nick Bunker
Biography or Autobiography
Winner: The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe by David I. Kertzer
- Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism by Thomas Brothers
- Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 by Stephen Kotkin
Winner: Digest by Gregory Pardlo
- Reel to Reel by Alan Shapiro
- Compass Rose by Arthur Sze
- Drama Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis
The Stella Prize shortlist has also been announced with a strong showing from debut authors Maxine Beneba Clarke, Ellen van Neerven, and Emily Bitto. [Publisher’s Lunch, Publisher’s Weekly, The Guardian]
After the 2013 merger of Penguin and Random House, the houses continued relatively independent operations. This week, however, marks a monumental step in the slow journey toward cohesion. The publishers fused separate web presences through the release of a combined website. The mega-press, Penguin Random House, is seeing some exciting promotions and new hires for open leadership positions, and an optimistic print run of 1 million for the recently discovered Dr. Seuss title, What Pet Should I Get? Overall, it has been an exciting week for the press with further developments to come. [Publisher’s Weekly, Shelf Awareness, GalleyCat].
- Reese Witherspoon will be the audiobook narrator for Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. Witherspoon described the gig by saying, “it is an honor and privilege to give voice to the Southern characters who inspired my childhood love of reading, Scout and Atticus Finch. I am eager for readers to be transported to a pivotal time in American history in the manner that only Harper Lee’s gorgeous prose can deliver.”
- Pogona Creative and the Orange Public Library in association with Chapman University released “Unread Book,” a video parody of the Bruno Mars song “Uptown Funk.” We advise against playing the video too loudly during library hours.
- Cannabis gets more play in book media with a cookbook and industry survey.
- The first bookstore to sell only self-published authors has opened
- Yet more literature unearthed. The pages are from A Wrinkle in Time capsule.
- Ebooks become part of a balanced breakfast.
- The trailer for “Jurassic Park World” is unveiled.
- CBC begins a campaign to put nursery books in prisons with incarcerated mothers.
- Parents take note: DC comics is now producing super-hero merchandise for girls.