Greetings once again, bookworms! I’m finally glimpsing some light at the end of this long dark tunnel I call graduate school. (It will be temporary, of course, as I’ll be back at the grind as a PhD student in the fall. Such is the life of a nerdy academic.) BUT – I have stirred from my school-induced stupor to bring a few tidbits of book news. The timing isn’t great – there will likely be more news next week, as BEA and BookCon are wrapping up this weekend in New York. Still, enjoy this little bit:
- The Eisner Awards, which “highlight the wide range of material being published in comics and graphic novel form today,” recently* (*like, a month ago, so whoops!) announced its 2015 nominees. Among those honored are some of my (new) personal favorites, including Brian Vaughan’s Saga (for Best Continuing Series), Ms. Marvel for Best New Series, and both authors of those series are up for Best Writer. The winners will be announced at a gala at the San Diego Comic Con this summer.
- The SyFy Channel (which is still the stupidest rename in television history) will be airing an adaptation of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians in 2016. A trailer for the show, which is now filming, made its way around the Internet earlier this month, and I think it looks pretty cool. Grossman’s book is the first in a trilogy about a teen prodigy who discovers magic is real.
- Myrtle Elizabeth Warren. (No relation to the U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.) According to a tweet from J.K. Rowling, that is Moaning Myrtle’s full name. Even years after Harry Potter concluded, fans still ask questions about each and every character, including those who only showed up a few times. Myrtle, however, was more memorable than most, so of course people wanted to know more about her. (Apparently, she was Ravenclaw. I would have figured her for a Hufflepuff.)
- Hashtag: I feel old. According to Oxford University Press, the word of the year for children age 5 to 13 is “hashtag.” OUP analysed short stories that were submitted to a BBC writing contest to identify which words were used the most. Besides “hashtag,” other popular words included Instagram, Snapchat and emoji. This is a very different world from the one I grew up in. It boggles my mind that five-year-olds internalize things like hashtag. How do they know these things??!
- Well, that’s depressing: research suggests that books written by women and books from a female perspective as less likely to win awards than other types of books (namely, those written by men). Novelist Nicola Griffith looked at the winning books of six major book awards over the last 15 years and found that men and stories about men were more likely to win. Griffith’s research doesn’t look at what other factors may be affecting the result, but it’s hard to argue with the numbers: female-driven narratives just don’t seem to get as much book award attention. *Sigh*
- Harlequin, a dominant name in the romance genre market, recently launched a new campaign titled “Whatever You’re Into.” In theory, the campaign is supposed to celebrate women of all shapes, sizes and reading preferences, with the idea that Harlequin has something for everyone. In practice, though, the publishing behemoth’s marketing videos seem to have missed their mark. Sarah and crew from Smart Bitches Trashy Books offered thoughtful and considered opinions on just why this campaign doesn’t seem to be having the intended affect.
As always, happy reading!