Happy Saturday, bookworms. I’m a bit sad now that summer seems to definitely be over. I even wore a sweater to work this week (though, in my defense, that’s just because they haven’t turned down the air conditioning yet). I generally like the fall – it’s my favorite season – but I’m not quite ready to give up summer just yet. I’m going to try to hold on to it for just a little bit longer. How about you hold on to some book news?
- With fall comes award season! The U.K. newspaper The Guardian announced the finalists for its First Book Award, which comes with a very nifty prize of 10,000 pounds Sterling.The 11 finalists range from American novels, Irish short stories, poetry and even a few nonfiction books (including one about India’s slums). Publishers submit their books for the prize and then, in partnership with the bookstore Waterstones, The Guardian chooses a short list, then eventually a winner (which will be revealed at the end of November). Susan Cain’s Quiet, a book I adored, is on the longlist, so I’ve got my fingers crossed for her.
- From first books to fantasy books. The 2012 Hugo Awards, given in the categories of science-fiction and fantasy, were recently announced in Chicago. Though heavily favored to win, George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons was beaten for the top prize by a coming-of-age faery novel by Jo Walton. Other Hugo Awards were handed out in “best novella,” “best short story,” and “best new writer” categories. The Hugo Awards were created in 1953 and are well-regarded by both authors and critics alike.
- Got any spare change? AbeBooks released a list of some of the most expensive books sold within the last month and one top seller was a first edition – and signed! – Ernest Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea) that went for more than $18,000! Other big spender books include a hand-written Bible from the 13th century, a first edition Edith Wharton and a French book published in 1491 that was missing some pages, but still sold for $20,000 because only one complete copy exists in the world. How’s that for a rare book?
- Artists, take your marks. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Ray Bradbury classic Fahrenheit 451, publishers Simon & Schuster are hosting a jacket redesign contest. The winning cover will be used on the first printing of the anniversary edition of the novel, available online and at your favorite local bookstore, where you can brag to all your friends. And if that’s not enough incentive, the winning designer will also receive a cash prize of $1,500. You can see the designs as they’re submitted if you “follow” Fahrenheit 451 on Facebook.
- And now, this week’s fun stuff: in late August, Book Riot explored what the world would be like if ’90′s song lyrics were actually book blurbs. Most of the blurbs are remarkably spot-on (I’m personally quite fond of using No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” to blurb Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, as well as the Green Day blurb for The Catcher in the Rye). Meanwhile, over at Flavor Wire, there’s a round-up of television clips featuring some of your favorite TV characters talking about books. There’s a surprising amount of literature popping up all over TV (heck, even South Park and The Family Guy got in on the action) but Rory Gilmore’s inclusion on the list is to be expected.
As always, happy reading!