Happy New Year, bookworms and welcome (back) to the first Book News of 2011. It’s been a little while, hasn’t it? In the last three weeks, we’ve had Christmas (three cheers for bookstore gift certificates!), New Year’s (the world’s most anti-climactic holiday) and a few snow storms. The book world hasn’t slowed down either, so let’s get to the news.

  • He may be The Boy Who Lived, but now he’s got to give up his best-selling crown. At the end of 2010, Amazon announced that the Kindle was now its best-selling product, ousting Harry Potter from the top spot. The Kindle remains quite popular, even with all the other options out there and somewhere, some technophobe is surely bemoaning the death of print. Again.
  • That could probably buy a thirsty vampire a lot of blood. The sales from Stephenie Meyer’s The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner raised $1.5 million for the American Red Cross. For every book sold, one dollar was designated for the Red Cross. Even with the novella available for free online, Twi-hards still shelled out the cash for hardcover book. Now who says print is dead?
  • It’s one way of rewriting history. The publishing world was up in arms this week over the news that two scholars plan to publish a new edition of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn that will replaces the n-word with “slave” and shortens or removes offensive references to Native Americans. While Huck Finn remains one of the most frequently challenged books because of its language, many authors and writers feel strongly that leaving the book as is gives teachers a chance to impart valuable lessons about historical context and why certain words are so inappropriate. I especially like author Maureen Johnson‘s opinion: “You can’t retrofit a book to make it easier for you to deal with.”
  • It’s January and you know what that means…Awards Season! While Hollywood takes care of praising the rich and famous, the American Library Association, along with many others, will take care of praising the wordy and witty. The Newbery, Printz and Caldecott awards will be announced Monday. In the meantime, Newbery front-runner One Crazy Summer (Rita Williams-Garcia) won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.
  • Now that we’ve all settled upon our favorite books from 2010, it’s time to look forward to the new books of 2011. I wrote my own anticipation post earlier this week; now it’s Novel Novice’s turn to explore some of the most anticipated young adult books of the coming year. NN previewed a few of my own favorites, including Where She Went and Demonglass.
  • Quick Links: Mr. Darcy himself – aka Matthew MacFaydenreads the proposal scene from Pride and Prejudice. Audio sexiness ensues. Thanks to SLJ’s Fuse Eight, I now know how Twilight should have ended (“Let’s go eat some people! Woohoo!”). And apparently there is this really cool looking library in Mexico.

As always, happy reading!